Karnataka to get a second skin bank at JLN Medical College, Belagavi

The number of donations at the first skin bank at Victoria Hospital in Bangalore has seen a three-fold rise in donations.

By Saiqua Sultan

The skin bank at Victoria hospital

Bangalore, November 20, 2017: Karnataka is soon to get its second skin bank at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College at Belagavi.

The Rotary Bangalore Midtown Club that commissioned the first skin bank at Victoria Hospital is funding the second bank as well.

“The skin bank will be up around January 2018. The work will be completed in two phases. The initial phase will take Rs. 30-40 lakhs and so will the second phase,” said Dr. Rajesh Shankar Powar, professor and head of the department of Surgery at JLN Medical College.

The Rotary Ashirwad Skin Bank at Victoria Hospitalnear KR Market is getting more skin donors compared to last year. The Bank has harvested 52 skins this year whereas last year, it saw 18 skin donations.

“We are seeing more people signing and pledging to donate skin. We got 34 more skin donations compared to last year,” said Nagaraj B.N. skin bank in-charge.

The Bank gets calls from mortuaries, both government and private hospitals as well as house calls. The skin has to be harvested within half an hour of a person’s death.

“We get house calls from people who had pledged their skins or even from family members of the deceased who want to do a service to the people,” he added.

The skin is harvested from the thighs and legs of the donor. Before the excision of dead skin, the donor’s family is asked whether the donor had either skin cancer, HIV or Hepatitis ‘C’ and had been 18 years and above.

The harvested skin is then sent to the microbiology department for further investigative procedure. The whole process takes 45 days before the donated skin can be preserved and used when required.

“I have done skin grafting surgeries on 3 people this year itself. It is highly conducive for quick intervention when the skin bank is at hand,” said Dr. Ramesh K.T. HOD department of Plastic Surgery and Burns.

The Bank has helped 20 burns patients this year who required skin grafting.

“This year we had many awareness programs. We went to many companies and colleges around the city to inform them of how skin donation can save lives of people,” informed Nagaraja.

“The skin bank saves lives in this way that the skin grafting is done as a temporary measure. Some patients came with such severe burns that their own skins cannot be used. So if donated skin is not available then the patient can die of infections,” Dr. Sushant, a plastic surgeon in the Burns Unit at Victoria Hospital said.

The donated skin after going through the medical procedures for detection of skin diseases or infections can be stored upto 5 years.


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