U.P.’s first skin bank awaiting equipment to start patient care - Hindustan Times
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U.P.’s first skin bank awaiting equipment to start patient care

Feb 10, 2024 08:08 PM IST

The infrastructure is ready but a few equipments are yet to be purchased by the university, without which inspection by State Organ Tissue Transplant Organisation (SOTTO) cannot be done. Permission to run a skin bank is mandatory from SOTTO.

LUCKNOW: Delay in procurement of a few equipments is hampering the start of the state’s first skin bank, vital for treatment of patients with severe burn injuries.

Officials said they were processing the purchase and the bank would start soon. (Pic for representation)
Officials said they were processing the purchase and the bank would start soon. (Pic for representation)

The skin bank, coming up at the King George’s Medical University (KGMU), was conceptualised in 2022 and was to start by the of 2023.

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It is being established in department of plastic surgery in about 1500 sq feet space. The infrastructure is ready but a few equipments are yet to be purchased by the university, without which inspection by State Organ Tissue Transplant Organisation (SOTTO) cannot be done. Permission to run a skin bank is mandatory from SOTTO.

When asked,officials said they were processing the purchase and the bank would start soon. “ The process of starting the skin bank is a priority. A few equipments are under process for purchase and as soon as they are bought we shall go for license process. Thereafter the skin bank will start,” said vice chancellor of the KGMU Prof Soniya Nityanand.

A skin bank is a place where skin from a donor (mostly people who wish to donate organs after death) is harvested and preserved. Skin bank is a resource in providing allograft skin as a cover for partial or full thickness burn injuries.

“With the help of deep freezers, we plan to preserve the donated skin for up to three months,” said Prof Vjay Kumar, HoD, plastic surgery.

Once operational, the skin bank staff will coordinate with the families of brain dead patients who are going for organ donation. Just as kidneys, liver and cornea are harvested by a medical team, in the same fashion the skin will be obtained and stored under temperature-controlled equipment after being lab tested.

The skin is provided to burn injury patients after matching the skin type. A skin graft not only helps in speedy recovery but also saves patients from further infection likely in open wounds.

According to officials, bio safety cabinet and deep freezer have been installed. Shaking incubator, walk-in fridge, skin bank van/ambulance and battery-operated dermatome have to be purchased.

In the case of many burn patients, their own skin is obtained from the body portion where it is in good condition and grafted to cover the wound and help in speedy healing. But in several cases the patient’s body is burnt in such a manner that his or her own skin can not be used. Here the skin bank will play a vital role .

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