Karnataka’s first Skin Bank opens today

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Karnataka will have its first skin bank as a private hospital inaugurates this facility on Wednesday.

The concept of skin bank is like blood banks or eye banks but in this case, the medical professionals visit a dead person’s house to remove its skin which is a simple process and usually takes around thirty minutes but must be done within six hours of the donor’s death.

According to experts, the skin bank can prove quite effective for those suffering from burns or the victims of acid attack as well as those seeking a plastic surgery. Bangalore’s Victoria Hospital, which aims to start the skin bank, says it receives almost 15-20 burnt cases a day. In such circumstances, say experts, establishing a skin bank in the hospital premises can really help for a quicker treatment and raising awareness of skin bank. They hope that this may also encourage people to donate their skin after their death.

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The harvested skin can be preserved in the Skin Bank for 2-5 years if maintained in sub-zero temperature. Unlike Blood donation, there is no need to match the Blood group of the donor and the recipient in Skin donation. Only those suffering from skin diseases, AIDS, Hepatitis B & C can’t donate their skin. The skin removed from the donor’s thighs can enhance the disfigured skin with at least 50-60% quality skin.

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Dr Sunil Kumar, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, said “In the absence of skin banks, we use the healthy skin of a burns patient, graft it and re-use it in plastic surgery. This leads to delay in recovery. The skin bank is a boon for patients as there is no blood group matching required in skin grafting. Anyone over 18 years can donate skin.”

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In India, there are Skin Banks in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and now, in Bangalore

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