It is being established at a cost of Rs.6 crore with funds from the Central government

A skin and tissue bank will start functioning at the King Institute in Guindy, Principal Secretary, Health, V.K. Subburaj, said here on Friday.

The bank was being established at a cost of Rs.6 crore with funds from the Central government and would benefit patients across the country, he said at the annual conference of the National Academy of Burns – India (NABI). It is also proposed to store the amniotic waste discarded after childbirth at government maternity hospitals as the waste could be used for treatment of burn injuries. This would bring down the cost as currently collagen was being used for the purpose.

A 10x10 cm piece of collagen could cost Rs.500, said V. Jayaraman, head of the Department of Plastic Surgery, Government Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital.

Mr. Subburaj urged Dr. Jayaraman to initiate steps to develop burns treatment facilities in the government hospitals at Madurai and Coimbatore. Currently, a few beds are allotted for victims of burns at these hospitals but the specialty needed to be developed so that treatment is provided locally, he said.

Fire and Rescue Services Director K. Natraj, who inaugurated the conference, urged the participants to impress upon the government to ensure that licensing authorities ensure the implementation of the laws. Fire accidents occurred because of improper implementation procedures. Often, the Fire Service Department was not involved in the inspection before providing the licences.

NABI patron J.L. Gupta said every year 7.1 million persons became victims of burn injuries. Of this, seven lakh victims need hospitalisation and 2.5 lakh remained crippled. Another 2.5 lakh victims died of the injuries which are easily preventable, he added.

Pilot project

As there are only 800 dedicated beds in the country, the association along with Central government assistance had proposed to launch a pilot project in three States to train doctors and plastic surgeons to treat burn injury victims.

Lauding the work done by KMC's burns department, Mr. Gupta said it had been chosen as one of the six training centres for the country. The pilot project is expected to start in the next three months.

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