The country’s only skin bank at Lokmanya Tilak Hospital in Sion has now started getting requests for grafts from neighbouring states.
There’s just one glitch.
Sion hospital does not have the facility to send skin samples to other states.
Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have contacted the bank for skin grafts to save one patient each — both with about 40 per cent burns.
“Sending a skin graft to another state is not simple. We are yet to develop a system for such transfers,” said Dr Madhuri Gore, who heads the surgery department at Sion hospital and is in-charge of the skin bank.
Neighbouring states now know the skin bank’s existence, thanks to a rise in the number donations.
Though the skin bank was set up at Sion hospital in 2000, more people have come forward to donate skin after their death after 2007.
“During first six years of starting the bank, just 56 people had given their consent to donating skin after death. However, in 2007, we got consent from over 56 people,” said Gore. “In 2009 [till July], we already have grafts coming in from around 40 cadavers.”
The hospital does not encourage people to donate skin fearing it may become commercial. That’s why they graft skin only from cadavers.
Also, it’s a surgical process where the donor may take up to 10 days to recover.
The medical fraternity needs to spread awareness among the public on donating skin, just like eyes, after death, Gore added.