Chandigarh, December 7
PGIMER Director Prof Vivek Lal inaugurated a skin bank at the Department of Plastic Surgery on the hospital premises today.
Prof Atul Parashar, Head, Department of Plastic Surgery, PGIMER, said the facility would be very useful for patients with major burn injuries.
The PGIMER, a tertiary care centre for burns, receives nearly 500 patients with burns annually. Most of these patients have burns on more than 40% of their body surface area, requiring extensive surgeries and often leaving them without enough skin graft donor areas. As a result, healing of burned areas is not possible or is delayed, leading to scarring, contractures and prolonged hospital stay.
The skin of any deceased person over the age of 18 can be donated within six hours of death, irrespective of gender and blood group, with no upper age limit. The skin is then extracted, harvested and processed, which takes five to six weeks. After this, it can be provided to patients in need. Unlike a kidney and liver, which cannot be stored and need to be transplanted within a few hours of donation, the skin can be preserved for a period of up to five years.
The skin donation process is swift and takes only 30 to 45 minutes. The donated skin is evaluated, processed and screened at the skin bank, and then used on burn patients, giving them hope and better chances for survival.
Prof Parashar said the skin bank aimed at playing a pivotal role in offering a lifeline to those grappling with the aftermath of burn injuries.
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