Bengaluru 30 March 2016: Rotary Ashirvad BMCRI Skin Bank (RABSB), the first skin bank to be developed and established in Karnataka, was inaugurated by Honourable Minister for Medical Education, Govt. of Karnataka Dr. Sharanaprakash Rudrappa Patil today at The Victoria Hospital, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI).
The skin bank is the dream child of Department of Plastic Surgery and the Rotary Bangalore Midtown, strongly supported by the Dean of BMCRI Dr. Devadass PK and funded by Ashirvad Pipes Pvt. Ltd., Ashirvad Pipes is a National Award winning company based in Bengaluru headed by the Managing Director Mr. Pawan Poddar, Technical Director, Mr. Deepak Poddar and Marketing Director Mr. Vikas Poddar.
Rotary Bangalore Midtown known for many of its social, educational and medical welfare projects took the initiative and Ashirvad Pipes volunteered to fund for the infrastructure and equipment of the skin bank. The Managing Director of Ashirvad Pipes, Mr. Pawan Poddar,stated “We partnered BMCRI’s Victoria Hospital and MidTown Rotary with the objective of providing cost effective and quality burn care treatment to all burn victims from all sections of society.”He also added “that people in general are not aware about skin donations and the fact that many lives can be saved if skin is donated.”
The Mahabodhi Burns Centre at Victoria Hospital always lacked a skin bank which would complement the treatment of burns and reduce the suffering and mortality of burns victims. Being the second largest in India, this burns care center will admit 160 to 180 burn patients every month. The Dean Dr. Devdass P K is very dynamic and proactive and has been behind many organ donations and progress of many facilities at BMCRI.
Rtn Anil Lala Director Community Services and Rtn Dr. Gunasekar Vuppalapati Plastic Surgeon from Rotary Bangalore Midtown along with the Dean and the faculty of Department of Plastic Surgery Dr. Ramesh K T and Dr. Smitha Segu will work for the smooth functioning of the RABSB and provide the much required skin to save as many lives as possible.
National Burns Centre headed by Dr. Sunil Keswani who provided the technical training and support for RABSB stated that this is a golden day for the State of Karnataka in the field of management of burn patients and the National Burns Centre is indeed very Happy to be a part of this initiative. However, he also said that “the setting up the bank is only 30% of the job done. For the balance 70%, we need to work together for creating awareness for many years till we have Skin Collection Centers across Karnataka and patients can have access to skin for treatment in every nook and corner of the State.
The Rotary Ashirvad BMCRI Skin Bank has been established with the motto to make the processed skin available to all the burn victims in Karnataka and the region of South India.
Process for skin donation: Like any other organ donation Skin donation needs to be pledged by a living person or needs to be offered for donation by the family soon after death. The skin is harvested within 6 hours of death either at hospital or home. The harvesting is done from hidden areas such as the back and the thigh with no bleeding or deformity to the body. The skin donation does not hamper the rituals of last rites. The process is fairly simple and takes less than 45 minutes. The donor could be anyone above 18 years of age with no skin disease or skin cancer and negative for HIV and Hepatitis C. It may be noted that no blood group matching is required.
The harvested skin is processed and stored as per international protocol in the skin bank ready for dispensing and safe use in burns care as the best biological dressing. This dressing not only saves the life but also relieves the pain, reduces infection increasing chances of survival significantly, especially when the burn area exceeds 40%.
The skin required for the burn victims within BMCRI will be issued through an indenting process. However, burns patients being treated in any other hospital can avail of it with a request letter from a qualified plastic surgeon with details of the patient, percentage of burns and quantity of skin in square centimeters duly mentioned.
A steering committee has been formed with representatives from Rotary Bangalore MidTown, BMCRI, and Ashirvad Pipes, to govern the functioning of skin bank.