Airoli burns centre to help three countries set up skin banksUpdated: Oct 31, 2019, 23:49 IST
After conducting skin grafting procedures for hundreds of burn patients in the state, the National Burns Centre (NBC) at Airoli has joined hands with the governments of Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka to set up state-of-the-art skin banks on par with international standards in the three neighbouring countries. A skin bank is a facility in which the skin of an eligible donor is collected, processed and preserved for use as per international protocols.
Medical experts from the three countries would also be given training at the centre’s highly-advanced Skin Regeneration and Stem Cell Therapy Laboratory.
“We often get calls from the neighbouring countries regarding skin grafting for burn patients. There is a need to set up more skin banks across the globe. We have already trained some doctors from these three countries on the setting up of the skin banks. However, full-fledged work will soon start to set up the skin banks in these three countries, while plans to set up such banks in other countries are in the pipeline,” said NBC director Dr Sunil Keswani.
The skin donation programme at NBC started in 2007. In 2009, the skin bank at the centre was upgraded with state-of-the-art facilities, in association with Amsterdam’s Euro Skin Bank. From January 2010 to August 2019, the centre has registered 1,566 skin donors.
“Donated skin can be stored for almost five years. There is a wrong perception that skin grafting procedure is conducted only among burn patients. However, donated skin can be used on any kind of trauma patients and patients suffering from any exfoliating skin disease, non-healing ulcers or accidental injuries can also benefit from skin grafting,” said Keswani.
The state-run burn centre has set up skin banks in Pune, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Belgaum and Sangli.