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- A skin bank — a first for North India — was inaugurated in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital.
What is a Skin Bank?
- Skin bank is a facility where the skin is taken from an eligible donor and processed and stored under appropriate temperature for up to 5 years.
- The stored skin can be used for Deep burns, chemical burns, electrical burns and radiation burns.
Skin Banks in India
- India has 16 skin banks — with seven in Maharashtra, four in Chennai, three in Karnataka, and one each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.
- However, despite the increasing number of skin banks across India and successful collaboration between various organizations, there is still a significant gap between the demand for and supply of allograft skin.
- To address this issue, it is essential to raise awareness about skin donation, promote the establishment of more skin banks, and encourage collaboration between medical professionals, researchers, and the public.
The process of Skin Grafting
- Skin grafting is a very simple process.
- The skin of a deceased person can be donated within six hours of death.
- The donor’s skin is taken out only from the back of the thighs and legs and the thickness is only 3mm. It means a total of 1000-3000 sqm.
- The skin is then extracted, harvested, and processed, which takes five to six weeks.
- After this, it can be provided to patients. Unlike a kidney and liver, which cannot be stored and need to be transplanted within a few hours of donation, skin can be stored for three to five years.
Note: Any individual aged above 18 years is eligible for skin donation. The skins of individuals who have HIV, HCV, HbsAg are not accepted.
- Every year, 7-10 million people sustain burn injuries in India, making it the second most common cause of injury after road accidents.
- Skin donation banks play a vital role in providing life-saving treatment for burn victims and patients with severe skin injuries.
- The process of skin donation and transplantation offers a chance at recovery and improved quality of life for those who suffer from extensive skin damage.
- Skin grafting decreases mortality, increases survival rates in patients, and helps them achieve better healing outcomes.
- It also decreases their hospital stay and overall cost of treatment.
- Patients of skin infections, skin cancer treatments such as Mohs surgery, skin ulcers, and slow healing or large wounds can all benefit from skin grafting.
- In India, at present, awareness about the concept of skin donation is poor.
- Despite doctors from various skin banks around different states are counselling relatives of patients who breathe their last, not many are coming forward to donate the vital and the largest human organ.
- India records around 70 lakh burn injury cases annually and of which 1.4 lakh people die every year.
- By generating the right awareness, skin banks will play a vital role in saving lives.
- The bank is a boon for patients as there is no blood group matching required in skin grafting.
Q. Consider the following statements:
1.Skin bank is a facility where the skin is taken from an eligible donor and processed and stored under appropriate temperature for up to 5 years.
2.No blood group matching is required in skin grafting.
3.The skin of a deceased person can be donated within six hours of death.
4.The donor’s skin is taken out only from the back of the thighs and legs and the thickness is only 3mm.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2, 3, and 4 only
(c) 1, 2, and 4 only
(d) All of the above.
Correct Answer: (d) All of the above.