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Rotary Skin Bank at KLEs Hospital Belagavi

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The Rotary Club of Belgaum has joined hands with the KLES Dr. Prabhakar Kore Hospital & MRC to set up the KLEs Rotary Skin Bank and would be inaugurated on 27th September. This has been taken up as a part of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in association with the Rotary Club of Locust Valley, USA.

The personnel required for running the Skin Bank and the place required for setting it up is provided by the KLES Dr.Prabhakar Kore Hospital & MRC. The Rotary Club has provided the equipment and will be responsible for spreading the awareness of Skin Donation. The training of personnel and logistic support is provided by RCBN Skin Bank, National Burns Centre, Navi Mumbai.


With the establishment of the KLES Rotary Skin Bank, which is the 2nd one to be established in Karnataka (the first being at the Victoria Hospital, Bangalore) and the 12th in India, we will be able to greatly improve the quality of Burn Care in this region of Karnataka and the neighboring states.

Burns is a major health hazard affecting mostly patients of lower socio-economic strata. In a country like India, managing burns patients in the form of initial resuscitation to improve their survival and early wound healing interventions to prevent deformities is extremely challenging.

According to the Ministry of Health report in 2016, the incidence of Burns in India 70 lakh per year, of which the majority are women and children. 1.5 lakh burns victims die every year. India accounts for 27% of global burn deaths. Most of the deaths are due to the delay in the treatment and lack of available infrastructure.

On this occasion, we spoke to Dr. Rajesh Shankar Powar, MS, M.Ch, DNB, Professor and HOD Department of Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Rajesh Powar skin belagavi

Tell us more about the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery opened at KLES Dr. Prabhakar Kore Hospital.

KLES Dr. Prabhakar Kore Hospital and Medical Research Centre have been taking care of burns patients in a systematic manner since the inception of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the year 1998. In its endeavor to provide state-of-art care to its patients, the hospital in the year 2014 commissioned a specialized Burns Center. With all the infrastructure and availability of specialized personnel, it is considered amongst the Best Burns Centers in India.

What are the new treatments in Burns management?

Burns management comprises of multiple aspects. The current trend in managing burns patient is early excision of burn wound followed by covering the wound with cadaver skin (Allograft) This is an inexpensive method which allows early wound healing in patients and also prevents deformities. It hastens the improvement of the general condition of the patient by preventing fluid and evaporative losses. Allograft usage has a major impact in increasing the survival rate of burns patients. In patients with 40-70% burns, Allograft usage has not only improved the healing of wound and survival but also prevented deformities. To make this possible there is a need for a Skin Bank, which can harvest the skin within 6 hours of death, process it and store this Allograft for use in these patients. It can also be used in patients with major skin loss due to trauma and also in other extensive wounds.

Skin Bank? How does this actually work?

Donated and processed skin from the donor’s bodies needs to be used whenever the burns victims skin loss is extensive that is more than 30% burns. Processed skin can be preserved up to 4 to 5 years. Donated skin does not stick permanently but acts as a sterile dressing material which enables the body to heal by itself.

Who can donate skin after death?

Anybody can donate Skin after death. There are no specific requirements in terms of age, sex or blood group or Skin color. However, the donor should not have died from HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B or C, Septicaemia, Skin Cancer or other Skin Diseases.

What is the procedure for Skin Donation?

A person who wishes to donate skin can pledge his intention of donating his skin before his death. Even the next of kin’s consent is valid for skin donation.

How much time does it take to harvest the skin?

After the skin bank is informed of the donor’s death, the harvesting is that as early as possible but within 4 to 6 hrs of death. A team of trained personnel from the skin bank is sent to the donor’s house.

Which part of the body skin is harvested?

Skin is harvested from the thighs, chest and abdomen and back.

What thickness of the Skin is harvested?

Only the superficial layer i.e.1/8th portion of the Skin is harvested.

How long does it take for the skin donation procedure to be carried out?

Harvesting of the skin will take about 30-40 min. the whole procedure including harvesting bandaging and cleaning might take up to one hour.

Who performs the skin-harvesting procedure?

The skin-harvesting is carried out by the collection team from the hospital consisting of one doctor/paramedical trained person, one nurse, and one attendant.

What happens to the donated skin?

Donated skin is used for the treatment of a patient with severe major burns which helps in preventing infections accelerating the process of healing/recovery and save a life. It is also used to provide cover in accident cases with extensive skin loss. In case of diabetic foot ulcer, the harvested skin can be used.

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