The first skin bank of Odisha opened at Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital in Bhubaneswar aimed to cater to the demand of skin for burn patients in Odisha and other neighbouring states.
“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. No blood group or cross matching is required for using the preserved skin,” said head of plastic surgery department of the hospital Dr Jayant Kumar Dash.
“Generally healthy skin of the same burn patients or their family members are used for patients with 50 to 60 % burn injury. But in case of live donors it takes 15 days to recover and also less amount of skin can be used. So cadaveric skin is ideal for the patients,” Dash added.
However, skin of those suffering from HIV AIDS, skin cancer, hepatitis B, skin diseases and septicemia cannot be used. Sources said, every year over 3000 burn cases are reported in Odisha, 70% of the injured are from productive age group.
The hospital has signed an MoU with the National Burns Centre (NBC) in Mumbai, which has been running a skin bank for the last four years with around 250 donations per year.