HealthSkin Care

Harnessing Skin Bank at Civil Hospital: Aid for Fire and Accident Victims in Need of Plastic Surgery – 600 Cases Annually

Every year, Civil Hospital witnesses over 600 cases of individuals requiring plastic surgery due to burns and road accidents. While most patients undergo skin grafting using their own skin, in cases where suitable skin is unavailable, the hospital utilizes donated skin stored in the Skin Bank, termed as ‘biological dressing’. 

The hospital conducts counseling to encourage individuals to donate skin, akin to organ donation. Unlike organ transplants, skin transplants do not require blood group matching, making it an accessible option for many. This innovative approach ensures that even in cases where personal skin grafts are not feasible, patients can still receive the necessary treatment, marking a significant advancement in medical care at Civil Hospital.

Skin Grafting Techniques for Burn and Accident Victims: Insights from Dr. Rakesh Joshi, Superintendent of Civil Hospital

According to Dr. Rakesh Joshi, Superintendent of Civil Hospital, over 400 individuals suffer burns exceeding 40 percent annually, while 200 others experience injuries from road accidents, totaling to 600 cases necessitating plastic surgery. In instances where a patient’s skin is severely damaged due to burns exceeding 40 percent or injuries from accidents, causing skin loss, the hospital employs a water-based dressing during wound care to prevent protein loss and minimize the risk of infection. 

This dressing acts as a temporary cover until skin grafting can be performed, ensuring the patient’s strength increases along with a reduced risk of infection. Notably, the skin used for grafting is not permanent; rather, it gradually sheds off as healing progresses. While the hospital does not register skin donations, its team conducts counseling sessions with relatives of brain-dead patients to facilitate skin donation for those in need.

Preservation Requirements for Donated Skin

Skin obtained through donation needs to be preserved under controlled conditions, typically maintained at temperatures ranging from minus 4 to 8 degrees Celsius. It is crucial to store the donated skin within this temperature range to ensure its viability and integrity for medical use. 

The skin must be carefully preserved for up to 21 days under these controlled conditions to retain its suitability for transplantation purposes. Proper preservation techniques are essential to maximize the effectiveness of donated skin and ensure its availability for patients in need of skin grafts.

Procedure for Skin Preservation at the Skin Bank

At the Skin Bank, two large rooms are dedicated to the preservation process. Upon donation by a doctor, the skin is immersed in a solution containing 50% glycerol (a sugar alcohol solution). After being scrubbed to remove any contaminants, the skin is then placed in a freezer at temperatures ranging from minus 4 to 8 degrees Celsius. 

Before the skin is used, it undergoes testing for compatibility with the patient’s blood type. Once the test results confirm compatibility and the absence of any infectious diseases, the skin is stored for a quarantine period of 21 days. This rigorous process ensures that the donated skin remains viable and safe for transplantation, contributing to the successful treatment of patients in need of skin grafts.

Time-Sensitive Skin Retrieval Process

In cases of patient demise, the retrieval of skin must be conducted promptly within 6 hours post-mortem. Similar to organ donation, skin can be donated by individuals willing to contribute, or it can be donated by the next of kin of brain-dead patients. 

However, it’s crucial to note that the extraction of skin should occur within the specified 6-hour window following the patient’s passing. This time-sensitive procedure ensures the viability and effectiveness of the donated skin for transplantation purposes, contributing to the timely treatment of those in need.

Anusha Aggarwal

My name is Anusha Aggarwal. With a deep fascination for the science behind health, hair care, skin care, and body care, I'm a dedicated writer committed to helping readers achieve optimal wellness. Through years of research and personal experience, I provide expert insights into the latest trends and techniques in the beauty and wellness.