Bengaluru: City's first skin bank was inaugurated by Medical Education Minister Dr Sharan Prakash Patil at Victoria hospital on Wednesday, making it the largest skin bank in South India and the second largest in the country after Safdarjung Hospital.
“It became a reality in one year, but it should have been in six months. This bank would help reduce mortality rate of burn victims,” said Dr Patil. Hospitals which see thousands of patients every day need to relook at the maintenance and doctors and hospital authorities should improve their management skills, he said.
The Mahabodhi Burns Centre at Victoria Hospital lacked a skin bank which could complement the treatment of burns and reduce the suffering and mortality of victims.
This burns care centre can admit 160-180 patients per month. “This bank will be of immense help to victims with 40-50% burns, as it saves a lot of time as no matching is required and the processed skin helps reduce pain, fluid loss and infection. It also increases survival chance of patients with burns of over 50%,” explained Dr Smita Singh, Associate professor, unit of plastic surgery, Victoria Hospital, which sees some 200 burn cases every month.
The Rotary Ashirvad BMCRI Skin Bank (RABSB), however, was not just a sole effort of the plastic surgery team of BMCRI. Rotary Bangalore Midtown took the initiative and Ashirvad Pipes volunteered to fund the infrastructure and equipment at the skin bank. Ashirvad Pipes donated `40 lakh for the infrastructure, machine and equipment. “We partnered with BMCRI’s Victoria Hospital and MidTown Rotary to provide cost-effective and quality burn care treatment to all victims from all sections of society,” said Mr Pawan Poddar, Managing Director, Ashirvad Pipes.
“It is just like any other cadaver organ donation. After serological testing if we find that the skin is fit we take the skin from the thighs and back within six hours. Any person above 18 years can donate and we need consent from the relatives of the deceased. Then we process it and send the skin for testing. If it is HIV or hepatitis C or any other skin disease, we don't harvest it," explained Dr K.T. Ramesh, head of the department, plastic surgery and burns, BMRCI. The skin is then preserved in sub zero temperatures and can be preserved for five years.
Minister not happy with Victoria administration
Medical Education Minister Dr Sharan Prakash Patil, who was Victoria Hospital to inaugurate the skin bank, went around the trauma centre and burns ward of the hospital and was unhappy with its maintenance and administration. “I have suggested a few changes at the trauma centre. There are CT scan equipment at all medical colleges. The one at Victoria Hospital too will start functioning from tomorrow (Thursday). A 128-slice CT scan will be installed at the hospital, but it will take some 15,” he said. “The handling of emergency cases is not effective and there is a need to train staff of government hospitals to attend to emergency cases," he said. “Doctors need to be better administrators. If Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research can be efficient, so can BMCRI be,” he said. “Soon, a trauma block would be inaugurated in two months at Victoria hospital campus. “We will also inaugurate a super-specialty hospital at Minto,” he said.