First skin bank in twin states may come up in Hyderabad soon
With an average of 100 burn patients landing at the Osmania General Hospital (OGH) in a month for skin grafting and 7,000 patients a year, the hospital is planning to set up the first skin bank in the twin Telugu states soon.

At present, both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh don’t have a skin bank, which hampers l arge grafts. While larger grafts are typically required by patients with severe burns, nearly half of them do not survive.

“Skin burns leave open wounds. Without the protective layer of skin, dehydration and body temperature loss happens. In case of severe burns, multi-organ function is affected within three to five days. With all the electrolyte imbalances and impact of organs, patients do not survive easily. With skin grafting, once the protective layer of the skin is back, the wound starts healing and it improves the survival rate,” said a senior doctor associated with the project.

In the absence of this protective layer, many severe burns patients succumb quickly. The OGH skin bank, which will be the first in the twin states, can meet the demand of nearby states, as only one skin bank in the private sector is currently operating in entire southern India, said doctors.

“We have sent the proposal for setting up a skin bank to the government. It will be managed by the plastic surgery department,” said hospital superintendent, Dr B Nagender.

Currently, plastic surgeons carry out grafting by taking skin from one part of the body and transplanting it to another. This does not allow large grafting and the alternative dressing of collagen sheet is a very expensive option. Meanwhile, skin banks use skin from cadavers (donated), which is then cleaned up in various solutions to wash off any antibodies and kept ready for grafting.

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