South Africa has opened a skin bank. In short, it’s a place that stores the skin of a cadaver which can later be transplanted.
If that sounds a bit Frankenstein, don’t worry. The process simply facilitates the process of healing of a person’s own cells. According to News24, using human skin to heal burns is less traumatic and painful than synthetic dressings, there is less scarring and it is cheaper.
Cleo Ndhlovu, general manager at the Centre for Tissue Engineering (CTE) told News24 that the skin from the cadaver falls off after a few days.
A burn victim is treated by taking a few strips from the top layer of the donor’s skin and placing it on the injured person. The layer of skin that is removed from the cadaver donor is very thin, meaning the donor can still have a dignified funeral. Donor skin can be used on anyone regardless of their race or age.
The donor’s skin works as a temporary skin graft to help the healing process before another graft of the victim’s own skin is completed.
Source: The South African