Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan. 16:
Ahead of its plans to set up a skin bank, the Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital, run by the SOA University in the Odisha capital, has achieved another first to its credit by transplanting skin on two burn victims to ensure speedy healing of the wounds.
Pravati Behera (43), whose sari caught fire while she was offering puja here on December 1 last year, suffered nearly 50 per cent burns on her body and was admitted into Sum Hospital.
Dr Jayant Kumar Dash, Associate Professor and Head, Burn, Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery department of the hospital, counseled her husband, Jagannath Sahoo, a bank employee, that if he could donate his skin it would protect his wife from infection and cause speedy recovery.
He readily agreed and skin taken from his thighs was grafted on the wounds of his wife, a first in the annals of medical history in Odisha.
Pravati has now been declared completely out of danger though she will have to spend a few more days in hospital. Sahoo had also to be hospitalized for a few days but has since been discharged.
Grateful for the donation of her husband and the strides medical science has taken, Pravati said “I’ve now been reborn again, got a second life.”
“Skin transplant not only reduces the pain of the patient almost immediately but also prevents infection and septicemia, the leading cause of death in burn patients. It further prevents albumin, electrolyte and blood loss from the body of the victim. This is the first ever case of skin transplant in the state,” Dr Dash said.
While cross matching or compatibility between the donor and recipient was a must in case of donation of other body organs, it was not required in skin donation which made the job easier.
“The need is to spread this information among the people,” he said.
“It also reduces the cost of treatment as the patient requires less antibiotics, albumen and plasma though an extra Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 is spent on the treatment of the skin donor,” he added.
Dr Dash also undertook the same procedure on Pratap Nayak, who had suffered nearly 70 per cent burn at Kolkata. He was brought to Sum Hospital where his wife and brother-in-law offered to donate their skin.
Nayak has been making steady progress ever since and had been pronounced out of danger, he said.
The Sum Hospital is in the process of setting up the state’s first Skin Bank in collaboration with the National Burn Centre, Mumbai, where skin donated by people could be stored for future use. The skin is often taken from body of the patient which is known in medical parlance as ‘autograft’ while skin taken from a donor is called ‘homograft’.
The skin can be donated by a living person or harvested from a cadaver immediately after death, Dr Dash said.