Skin Bank, What is Skin Banking, criteria for Donating Skin, skin donations

What is skin banking?

Skin banking is a facility where the skin is collected from eligible deceased donor and processed as per international protocols. Skin can be stored in the skin bank at 4-8o Celsius up to 5 years. T he stored skin can be used for Burns patient who have Deep Burns, Chemical Burns, Electrical Burns, and Radiation Burns. Right hospital started this facility in 2014 – first of its kind in Tamilnadu. In a patient with major burns the dead skin from their body should be removed as early as possible to avoid life threatening infection and death. The only way to save the burn victims life is to remove the dead skin and replace it with skin graft. There is paucity of skin available and due to this many victims are severely affected. Skin banking will help these victims to recover fast.

Why skin banking?

The estimated annual burn incidence in India is approximately 6-7 million per year. Nearly to 1.5 lacs people get crippled and require multiple surgeries and prolonged rehabilitation. 70% of the burn victims are in most productive age group of 15 to 40 years. Most of the patients belongs to poor socioeconomic strata.

What are the criteria for donating skin?

* Above 18 years

* Free of AIDS, hepatitis and STDs

* Free of skin cancer and other skin ailments

* Suffering from diabetes, hypertension and cardiac ailments can also donate

What are the points to remember while donating skin?

* Call within 6 hours of death

* Skin can be harvested from brain dead patients.

* A skin donation procedure takes about 45 mins.

* Patient need not to be brought to hospitals premises.

* Skin can be harvested from deceased person’s home similar to eye donation.

What is the procedure adopted for skin harvesting?

Once call is made for skin donation. A team from the hospital skin bank will visit the donar’s home and the following procedure will be carried out.

* Consent from the next of kin will be obtained

* Blood sample will be collected to check for HIV & Hepatitis

* Skin will be harvested from both lower limbs using battery operated dermatome

* After skin harvest both the lower limb will be covered with dressing The entire procedure will take 45 minutes. The harvested skin will be brought to the skin bank for processing and storage. This stored skin is used to save major burn victims.

How to maintain healthy skin?

1. Hydrate your skin by drinking adequate water

2. Avoid using skin drying agents like neem, turmeric, and high irritant soap

3. Apply moisturiser regularly after bath to prevent the dryness of skin ,specially for kids and elderly persons e. g. Alovera, milk cream, coconut oil

4. During sun exposure time,use SPF(Sun Productive Foundation)

5. Nourish your skin with Beta Carotine rich food (colourfull vegetables and fruits) orange,carrot,banana,beans,broccoli etc.

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