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Bengaluru: No donors at Victoria skin bank

No donors at Victoria skin bank
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No donors at Victoria skin bank

Highlights

Skin banks in the state are facing acute shortage as skin donations are few and far between, thanks to the Covid-19 induced lockdown

Victoria Hospital is the only hospital in the state to house a skin bank which started in 2016

♦ In the last three years, the skin bank recieved 105 cadaver skin donations

♦ Around 93 skin graftings were conducted on burn victims in the past three years

♦ While a large number of cases of burns were being reported each year, not many donors are coming forward to donate skin.

♦ 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 sqcm

Bengaluru: Skin banks in the state are facing acute shortage as skin donations are few and far between, thanks to the Covid-19 induced lockdown.

The state-run Victoria Hospital in the city which is the only skin bank in the state is facing tough time. Officials in the skin bank claimed that the bank has seen a steep fall in skin donation in the last six months due to the outbreak of the pandemic

According to the records, the skin donated before the lockdown was preserved in the bank, but since the last six months there have been no new donors. This has led to a severe shortage of skin required for conducting surgeries on burn victims.

"There are thousands of people who suffer burns and in spite of having a skin bank, we are unable to help people. During this lockdown, we have seen just one donor for the past six months, which is low. No major operation was held during this lockdown. We expect a huge demand for skin donors in the days to come. Further, there is a lack of awareness among people in so far as skin donations are concerned. The government should address the problem and come up with a permanent solution," said an official at the Victoria Skin Bank.

Victoria Hospital is the only hospital in the state to house a skin bank which started in 2016. In the last three years, the skin bank recieved 105 cadaver skin donations. Around 93 skin graftings were conducted on burn victims in the past three years. While a large number of cases of burns were being reported each year, not many donors are coming forward to donate skin.

"The problem is not only because of the pandemic, but many people also believe that skin grafting will be done on the whole body and it will cause disfigurement to the body of the deceased. This is far from true and there is a lack of awareness. The largest organ of the body is skin and even a loss of 40 per cent of it can be fatal if the tissue is not placed. Skin grafting can help burn victims tremendously since it is used as a biological dressing," the skin bank official added.

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 sqcm. Once skin grafting is done, processing takes about 52 days, ­after which it can be used on patients, he said.Any individual aged above 18 years is eligible for skin donation.

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