Shortage of skin donors

Doctors at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town say they're facing a major crisis. There's no skin available for life saving skin grafts for burn victims. Without donated human skin they're forced to use inferior animal derived or synthetic products. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Doctors at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town say they're facing a major crisis.

There's no skin available for life-saving skin grafts for burn victims.

Without donated human skin they're forced to use inferior animal-derived or synthetic products.

This often leads to longer recovery periods and complications.

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“In terms of donor skin we have run out of donor skin for a while now. We have been waiting for skin for a few weeks now but there is simply no donors,” said Dr. Gary Dos Passos from the Burn Unit at Red Cross Children's Hospital.

He says the shortage is affecting the quality of service to patients.

“I’ve been having to use other alternatives to help my patients. We have been using a pig derived substitute which is not a bad product. It is a good product. But as I said, is inferior. And then also synthetic products that can be used. But none of them compare to human skin in terms of efficacy and in terms of recovery,” said Passos.

The Centre for Tissue Engineering as well as the Organ Donor Foundation is appealing to South Africans to register as organ and tissue, donors.

It’s a simple two-minute process. And anybody can donate tissue which includes skin.

There are only 200 registered tissue donors in South Africa.

Source
eNCA