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The department of Plastic Surgery conducted a one-day symposium on “Skin Banking ” at the lecture theatre complex of PGI, Chandigarh. This was attended by about 100 delegates that included Plastic Surgeons, General Surgeons, nursing personnel and the physiotherapists. The symposium was inaugurated by Prof. Jagat Ram, Director PGI, Chandigarh. Dr. R K Sharma , head of Plastic Surgery at PGI, deliberated upon the magnitude of the burn trauma and the need for the society to come up for skin donation. He also informed that PGI would soon be starting
the Skin Bank facility. Prof. Jagat Ram assured all the help to realize this dream.

The burn injuries continue to be a challenging problem across the globe, but is more so in the developing world like India. According to official figures about 10 lakh persons sustain burn annually and about 1.5 lakh people die every year in India due to various burns related accidents. The large open wounds in burn injuries readily get infected and this is one of the leading causes of high mortality .These patients have paucity of skin thereby making the wound closure a difficult proposition. If we could provide skin taken from the cadaver as a temporary cover, it could save thousands of lives. The symposium was aimed at spreading the awareness regarding the “Skin Donation” after death. Eminent speakers from across India addressed the meeting and shared their rich experience.

Dr. Shobha Chamania explained the need for skin banks in India and shared her experience about setting up the same at Indore. Dr. R P Narayan from Safdarjung hospital Delhi discussed the legal aspects of skin donation and the pre-requisites for starting a Skin Bank facility. Professor Pallab Ray from the microbiology department of PGI Chandigarh explained the importance of microbial flora on the skin and the various strategies to contain skin infections in cases of skin grafts harvested from the cadavers. Dr. Sunil Keshwani from the National Burn Center, Mumbai, shared his vast experience of setting up about seven Skin Banks in the state of Maharashtra. Dr. Ramakant Bembde from Aurangabad discussed about the “Meek Skin Grafting” technique for coverage of large burn areas. Dr. V K Tiwari from RML hospital New Delhi shared his vast experience with the use of human homograft in management of extensive burns.
The meeting also had video presentations on the concept of skin banking and techniques for coverage of large burns areas. There was active participation by all the delegates and many fine details about the setting up of
skin banks were discussed threadbare.

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