Mumbai: KEM Hospital in Parel to have skin bank

The first such skin bank in the city was introduced in 2000 at the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General (Sion) Hospital.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Thursday, December 29, 2022, 11:23 PM IST
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Mumbai: KEM Hospital in Parel to have skin bank | Representative Image

Mumbai: The King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital in Parel, one of the major tertiary-care institutions in the city, is set to get a skin bank in the New Year. The skin bank will start operations on January 5, with the help of the Regional-cum-State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (ROTTO-SOTTO) and the NGO Jewelex Foundation.

The first such skin bank in the city was introduced in 2000 at the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General (Sion) Hospital.

Where will the skin be sourced from?

The skin bank will facilitate procurement of skin from an eligible dead donor. Skin that is donated to skin banks is used for burn patients, whose skin may have been damaged. When the skin gets badly burned or damaged, it’s unable to repair itself without help. If the burnt area is not immediately covered with donated skin, patients can develop infection, leading to death.

“The skin donation department will be inaugurated on January 5 and it will be a state-of-the-art facility,” said Dr Sangeeta Rawat, Dean, KEM Hospital.

The skin tissue donated by deceased persons will be sent to the bank to treat patients with serious injuries such as burns and those who require plastic surgery or skin grafts, said a senior health official.

“The National Burns Centre, Airoli, is the only burn centre of India. However, of shortage of donated skin, they have to turn patients back. Many people do not come forward to donate skin because of lack of awareness. Thus, starting one more skin bank at a civic-run hospital will benefit many patients and the hospital should take steps to increase awareness in this regard,” he said.

There are 13 skin banks in India and three are located in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, including NBC Airoli, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, Sion, and at Masina Hospital. However, harvesting skin is challenging and the workforce is limited at these three hospitals.

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