Skin Bank Sets a Benchmark in Burn Care: PGIMER

The Skin Bank at PGIMER sources allografts from deceased donors, providing temporary burn wound grafts.

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Last Updated on December 21, 2023 by The Health Master

Skin Bank

The northern region witnessed a historic moment as the Department of Plastic Surgery at PGIMER, Chandigarh, inaugurated the first skin bank.

Dr. Vivek Lal, the institute’s director, marked the occasion, emphasizing the critical role this facility will play in addressing major burn injuries.

The Burn Care Landscape

1. Understanding Burn Trauma

Burn injuries inflict physical, psychological, and financial stress on patients and their families.

PGIMER, Chandigarh, as a tertiary care center, annually handles around 500 burn patients, a majority with burns exceeding 40% of their body surface area.

2. Scarcity of Skin Graft Donors

Many patients, due to extensive burns, lack sufficient donor areas for skin grafts. This impedes the healing process, resulting in scarring, contractures, and prolonged hospital stays.

3. Skin Grafting: A Vital Solution

The skin, our body’s largest organ, plays a crucial role in protection. ‘Skin grafting’ emerges as a solution, utilizing skin either from the patient’s body or donated by cadavers.

The Significance of Skin Banking

4. Allografts: Bridging the Gap

The Skin Bank at PGIMER sources allografts from deceased donors, providing temporary burn wound grafts.

These grafts replicate healthy skin functions, such as infection prevention, fluid loss reduction, pain management, and promotion of tissue healing.

5. Rigorous Donor Screening Process

Donors undergo meticulous screening, including medical record reviews, staff interviews, and blood tests for transmissible diseases.

The process ensures safe and viable skin grafts for patients in need.

6. Swift Donation Process

Skin donation, unlike organ donation, is a swift procedure lasting 30 to 45 minutes. The harvested skin, preserved in glycerol solution, can be stored for up to five years at 4 to 8 degrees Celsius.

Overcoming Challenges

7. Addressing India’s Skin Bank Shortage

India, especially in the northern region, faces a shortage of skin banks.

PGIMER’s Skin Bank aims to fill this void, becoming a crucial lifeline for burn injury survivors.

8. Professor Atul Parashar’s Vision

Professor Atul Parashar underscores the pivotal role of PGIMER’s Skin Bank, offering hope and improved survival chances to those grappling with burn injuries.

9. Creating Awareness: A Call to Action

During the CME, experts stressed the need to raise awareness about skin donation. This initiative has the potential to save numerous lives.

Hope for Burn Survivors

In conclusion, the inauguration of the first skin bank in the northern region marks a significant step in burn care.

PGIMER’s Skin Bank not only addresses the scarcity of skin banks in the area but also provides a ray of hope for individuals battling the aftermath of severe burn injuries.

Disclaimer: This article contains information derived from the source mentioned below. Our team utilized an AI language model to rewrite and present the news or article in a unique format.


Q1: Can anyone be a skin donor?

Yes, individuals over 18 years of age, irrespective of gender and blood group, can donate skin within six hours of death.

Q2: How long does the skin preservation process take?

The extraction, harvesting, and processing of skin take five to six weeks, after which it can be provided to patients in need.

Q3: Is there any disfigurement to the donor’s body after skin donation?

No, there is no disfigurement or bleeding from the donor site, and it is appropriately bandaged.

Q4: How long can donated skin be preserved?

The skin can be preserved for up to five years in an 85% glycerol solution at 4 to 8 degrees Celsius.

Q5: How can I contribute to skin donation awareness?

Creating awareness about skin donation can be done by sharing information, participating in campaigns, and encouraging discussions on the topic.

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