Vid’s first skin bank stands non-functional for five years
   Date :19-Jun-2024

first skin bank stands 
By Vikas Vaidya
Vidarbha’s first skin bank, that started about 10 years ago, has been non-functional for the past 5 years. There are a lot of cases of over 40% burn injuries where skin bank can give a new lease of life to the patients. Closure of the skin bank is being considered as a huge blow to the region. Dr Samir Jahagirdar, noted Plastic Surgeon, took the initiative, taking cue from his guru Padma Shri Dr Ashok Gupta. Dr Gupta volunteered for such skin bank in Mumbai. Dr Jahagirdar got the support from Rotary Club of Nagpur and Orange City Hospital and Research Institute (OCHRI). With the help of then Director of OCHRI Dr Anup Marar, under the guidance of Chairman Uday Bhaskar Nair, the bank ran for six years during which 35 donations were done. Of those skin donations, over 60 persons who suffered from burn injuries were benefited. The skin bank was the fourth one in India at the time. Now, the number of skin banks has gone beyond 26.
Unfortunately after running for six years, the skin bank facility was shifted to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). The reason of shifting was cited as skin donations getting reduced, making the maintainance of the hospital difficult. The hospital had about 10,000 sq cm of donated skin preserved, all of which was utilised for patients and the facility was eventually shut down. The equipments were shifted to the GMCH. The hospital had an advanced burns facility and had treated the 25-year-old lecturer who was set ablaze in Hinganghat, who later died of her injuries.
Dr Surendra Patil, Head of Department of Plastic Surgery at GMCH told ‘The Hitavada’, “The skin bank has become non-functional. We too know the importance of the skin bank. We had a talk with our Dean. His idea is to house it in new burn ward that is being planned.
Burn wards in GMCH, IGGMCH lying unused
Many people who suffer from burn injuries in the region come to Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) and Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMCH) for treatment. Unfortunately, both these tertiary units have separate burn wards but are lying unused. In recent times, people suffered from burn injuries due to the blasts in Solar Explosives, Chamundi Explosives and Sunflag Industries in Bhandara. The hospitals witness cases of burn injuries due to domestic incidents as well as industrial or accidental cases. The patient suffering from burn injuries need special treatment and in separate burn ward.
The separate burn ward should have Operation Theater. Though both tertiary care units have such burn wards but patients can not be treated there. Dr Raj Gajbhiye, Dean of GMCH and Dr Ravi Chavan, Dean of IGGMCH told ‘The Hitavada’ that they both are preparing a proposal separately to get complete unit to run burn ward. Both are optimistic that Government would provide the same and burn ward can be made functional with advanced equipment.