Mumbai to get first government-run burns hospital by 2020
Mumbai’s largest and most sophisticated burns centre is housed at Masina Hospital, a private facilityUpdated: Jan 02, 2018 12:52 IST
By 2020, Mumbai will get a public hospital specialising in the treatment of burn injuries. The state health ministry announced its decision to build such a centre three days after 14 people were killed in a fire at the Kamala Mills compound.
“A special burns centre with a skin bank facility will be set up at the government-run Samanya Rugnalaya in Malwani, Malad,” said Dr Deepak Sawant, health minister. The 30-bed hospital will be built on a plot belonging to the state government. It is expected to be operational in two years, he added.
Currently, there are no government-run burn care centres in Mumbai. The city’s largest and most sophisticated one is housed at Masina Hospital, a private facility. The 15-bed Masina burns and plastic surgery unit has been operational since the past 40 years.
While medical colleges and a few periphery hospitals have plastic surgery units in which burn injuries are treated, they are plagued by a lack of beds and expertise in complicated third-degree burn cases.
Many severe burn cases are transferred to National Burns Center in Airoli, Navi Mumbai — one of the largest specialised burns hospitals in India. However, the high cost of treatment at the NBC acts a deterrent for the underprivileged.
“Though several public hospitals have facilities to treat burns, people who sustain 50% burn injuries are transferred to NBC. The government kept this in mind while making its decision to set up the new centre,” Dr Sawant added.
Health officials said the skin bank — that will largely store skin from cadavers — was much-needed. A skin bank is a facility where skin is collected from cadavers and donors and then processed. The skin, which can be stored for up to five years, can be used to treat people who have suffered deep burns, chemical burns and electrical burns. Timely skin grafts can protect such patients from fatal infections.
Currently, the city has a single skin bank, which was set up at Sion Hospital in 2000. The number of skin donations increased following 2007,said officials. “We will create awareness among people, asking them to donate skin like they donate organs. This will be a ray of hope for people with serious burn injuries,” Dr Sawant said.
Five with minor burns discharged
Five patients, undergoing treatment for minor burns after the fire at Kamala Mills compound, were discharged from Bhatia Hospital on Monday.
Doctors said there has been a slight improvement in the condition of another patient, a non-residential Indian (NRI), who had suffered 30% to 35% burns.
Four days after the massive fire that claimed 14 lives, six people who suffered minor burns are still undergoing treatment at Bhatia Hospital, where they were shifted to from KEM Hospital, Parel, against medical advice on Thursday.
“Four men — aged 41, 37, 38 and 21 — and a 32-year-old woman were discharged after they made a complete recovery on Monday. The NRI, whose condition is critical owing to third-degree severe burns, is still under observation. He has started responding to treatment,” said doctors from Bhatia Hospital.
The man suffered burns on both hands, his head and back. “Owing to the severity of the injuries, surgery is not an option for now. We are closely monitoring his internal organs, which are currently stable,” said Dr Ashok Shah, plastic surgeon, Bhatia Hospital.
He said doctors gave the man antibiotics and collagen dressing — a new bandaging technique that helps promote the growth of new collagen (a type of protein) at the wound site, prompting a speedier recovery. “Since a layer of his skin was lost, owing to the burns, we are changing his dressings frequently to avoid an infection,” he said.
Among the 14 patients who were admitted to the hospital, three were initially critical. One of them underwent a skin graft on Saturday. “To prevent an infection, we replaced the lost skin on the body with skin from other parts. A man who had suffered 30% burns is also recovering quickly,” said doctors.