The first skin bank in Odisha has been launched recently at the Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital. The centre will attend to the burn patients in Odisha and other neighboring, which has been constantly suffering from lack of awareness about skin donation and skin bank. As a result, many patients are left unattended and continue to suffer from physical deformity as well as social stigma, as reported by TNN.
The Sum hospital has reportedly signed an MoU with the National Burns Centre (NBC) in Mumbai. The NBC has been chosen as the preferred partner for being in the field of skin bank for the last four years, and with a proven track record of 250 donations per year.
The state of Odisha sees 3000 burn cases, with almost 70% cases unfortunately reported from the productive age group. Barring the restriction of skin donations from people suffering from serious health issues such as HIV AIDS, skin cancer, hepatitis B, skin diseases and septicemia, the doctors continue to use the healthy skin of the burn patient only, or from family members of some patients. However, cadaveric skin is ideal for the patients, as the recovery time is less than 15 days.
“In the skin bank we will preserve skins like we do in eye bank. Skins will be collected from people within six hours of death and can be preserved for five years in the bank. No blood group or cross matching is required for using the preserved skin,” said head of plastic surgery department Dr Jayant Kumar Dash.
“Creating awareness in the community about the need of skin donation is the priority of the skin bank. There are several myths and doubts about skin donation among people. We are trying to clear the doubts by conducting various programmes,” Dash said.
The hospital also has a 30-beded state-of-the-art burn ward with facilities for plastic and reconstruction surgery, as confirmed by TNN.