Dr Younis Kazim Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai will have a large skin bank by mid-2019, a first of its kind facility in the Middle East, said a top official of the Dubai Health Care Corporation (DHC). The bank which has received a Sharia clearance will be set up within the Rashid Hospital complex which is the largest trauma care hospital of the region.

The recently formed organisation under the umbrella of Dubai Health Authority (DHA) will streamline all the health investment strategies and forge public private partnerships to fast track health care delivery and make Dubai a world class medical tourism destination.

Elaborating on the facility Dr Younis Al Kazim, CEO of DHC said: “The bank has been initiated by the plastic surgery department of Rashid Hospital. Patients who receive over 80 per cent burns have very little chance of survival as they have no site for grafting. In cases like this dermal grafts taken from donors, especially patients of bariatric surgery can be used and provide a great chance of healing and survival for these patients.”

Dr Al Kazim added that donor skin grafts are also very effective in cancer patients who require extensive reconstruction. “Skin grafts will be preserved in incubators and used for patching by the burns and plastic surgery units and also be used by other DHA hospitals.” Currently DHC officials are studying its feasibility, funding, staff requirement among other factors to make the project sustainable.

What is skin grafting?

It is a surgical procedure that involves removing skin from one area of the body and moving it, or transplanting it, to a different area. This surgery is done when skin is destroyed due to burns, injury, or illness.

Did you know
■ Skin is the largest organ of the human body.

■ It can be cryopreserved at temperatures as low as -196C for up to two years.

■ Donor skin gra­s reduce healing time, protect internal organs especially in cases of extensive burns and types of cancer where organs, including the skin, have to be excised.

■ Plastic surgeons and maxilla facial surgeons also use donor skin to reconstruct cancer-damaged areas.

About Dubai's skin bank
■ It will be operational at Rashid Hospital from mid-2019.

■ It will specialise in storing dermal grafts from donors.

■ Transplant of skin has received Sharia clearance.

■ Skin cut away from patients of bariatric surgery will be stored in incubators and used as gra­s.