Letter to the Editor

The recent article on dry eye suggested that autologous serum eye drops, for the treatment of refractory cases, are only available in hospitals.1 However, autologous serum eye drops are manufactured by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service for compassionate supply in the eastern Australian states. Production also occurs via Cell and Tissues Therapies WA and other services.

After referral from an ophthalmologist, suitable patients can have their blood collected at a blood donor centre. In-hospital collection by the Blood Service, usually in the outpatient setting, is reserved for patients with significant co-morbidity.

Limited data were available on Australian patients with dry eye treated with serum eye drops so the Blood Service performed a prospective questionnaire study.2 Significant improvements in symptom frequency and severity were reported for dryness, ocular pain and grittiness at two and 12 months. These findings support other evidence of autologous serum eye drops as a well-tolerated treatment for dry eye and corneal epithelial defects in patients failing other therapies.3

Phillip Mondy
Haematologist
Australian Red Cross Blood Service

Acknowledgment: This letter was written with the approval and on behalf of Phillip Mondy’s co-authors.2

The author and co-authors have been employed by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, which provides autologous serum eye drops on a compassionate basis.

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