Skin Donation

Rotary Mumbai Borivali East

As per report of WHO, there are approx 6-7 millions burn cases in India out of which at least 1.4 Lacs deaths occurs every year which mean more than 380 every day or a person in every 4 minutes die due to burn, largely women and children from lower middle and poor class, for which we do not even heard a word. These burns are from electrical, chemical, radiation burns or kitchen mishaps.

Why this is happening? It's because there is not enough skin donations in India. It is not that people of India are afraid of skin donation or they do not want to donate skin. It is just because they do not know the concept of skin donation.

Concept of skin banking is relatively new to India and a skin bank without donor has no use. Hence a collaborative efforts of awareness and responsibility on the part of people, doctors as well as corporate & NGOs need to be established.

There are various myths prevailing in the mind of people and more surprisingly it includes people from the field of medical. A myth is simply the lack of proper awareness, which in turn leads to superstition and false notions.

Example of few myths is as below:-

1) Skin can be donated during lifetime only

2) Skin can be donated only when a person is having extra Fat

3) In case of Skin Donation, Skin of whole body will be removed

4) There will be blood on body in case of Skin Donation and / or shape of Body shall be changed

5) Skin of one person can be used by a patient having same blood group.

6) When a patient need skin, skin of an alive person shall be removed and apply to patient immediately.

7) In India, religion plays a huge role, and there are several myths associated with skin donation. Some might be apprehensive under the impression that their religion forbids pledging skin/organs, while others believe that pledging a particular organ in one’s life, means they will be born without it in another life. etc....


Skin Banking:

• Skin banking is a facility where the skin is collected from eligible deceased donor and processed as per international protocols.

• Skin can be stored in the skin bank at 4-80 Celsius up to 5 years.

The Rationality of the Skin Donation:

• In case of extensive burns, the protective barrier i.e. skin is burnt.

• It leads to infection which in most cases becomes fatal.

• Patients can be saved if enough skin available in Skin bank.

Magnitude of the Problem:

• The estimated annual burn incidence in India is approximately 6-7 million per year.

• In Mumbai alone, about 1000 burn patients need donated skin annually.

• One burn patient requires skin from two donors.

• There is a need of about 2000 SKIN DONATIONS for MUMBAI only per year.

Benefit of Skin Donation:

• Natural Skin acts as the most effective dressing.

• Natural Skin acts as a barrier to infection & the rate of infection is reduced significantly.

• Natural Skin reduces the pain.

• Natural Skin increases the survival rate.

• If Natural Skin applied, the cost of treatment goes down drastically.

• Natural Skin improve immunity.

Who will get Benefit of Donated Skin:

• Adults, whose body surface area burns more than30%.

• Children, whose body surface area burns more than10%.

• Persons having deep burns.

• Patients of Chemical Burns.

• Patients of Electrical Burns.

• Patients of Radiation Burns.

Quick facts:

• Total thickness of skin is 8 mm out of which a very thin layer of 0.4 to 0.6 mm skin (Like a layer of onion) is being harvested.

• There are total 8 layers of Skin, out of which only 1/8th layer is harvested

• Skin should be harvested within 6 hours after death

• Can be harvested in 45 minutes

• There is no bleeding after Skin Harvesting.

• There is no disfigurement of body after Skin Harvesting.

• There is no need for matching of blood group is required

• A special instrument called DERMATOME harvests skin, it is a battery-operated instrument made exclusively for skin harvesting only.

• Anyone can donate skin, irrespective of sex and blood group. While the minimum age of the donor should be 18 years, there is no upper age limit.

Potential candidates for Skin Donation:

• Any Person who attain the age of 18 years.

• Person should not have any skin disease.

• Person should not be a patient of HIV / Hepatitis ‘C’

• Person should not be patient of skin cancer.

• Person should not be patient of Septicemia.

Procedure for Harvesting of Skin:

• Shaving and cleaning with normal saline.

• Scrubbing with Betadine scrub

• Draping with sterile sheet

• Cleaning with Sterilium and Savlon

• Lubricating with paraffin

• Harvesting skin of uniform thickness

• Immediate preservation of harvested skin in 50% glycerol.

Transport it back to Skin Bank for further processing.

We, at Rotary Club of Mumbai Borivali East, therefore adored Skin Donation Awareness as our service project. We are conducting several camps, speeches, presentations and even mega program like Walkathon to spread the awareness of skin donation among general public in association with National Burn Center, Airoli, Navi Mumbai.

Since, Skin donation is the need of hour for entire nation, it need a collaborative efforts. Though, some NGOs are already started working on it, still there is a need to more NGOs involves actively to spread the awareness. And I believe, it will. Because Rotary is to make a difference…..

For online pledge,
For more information : +91- 9322 217 650