Since 1995, the DTBV has provided skin allografts to burn victims of incidents such as house or car fires, explosions, and events such as the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria.
Skin is the best dressing to use on serious burns, particularly where more than 50% of the body surface is affected (quite often in children) making autografting (transplant of the patient’s own good skin to the affected areas) very difficult.
The use of allograft skin stabilises the wounds, reduces infection and critical fluid loss, promotes healing of the wound bed and makes the patient far more comfortable. With time bought with the use of donor skin, the patient’s own skin can be cultured in the laboratory and applied to the patient for later grafting. Long term scarring is very much reduced with the use of donor skin.
Donated skin undoubtedly saves lives and improves long term outcomes.
The development of skin banking at DTBV, which was initially funded by Esso Australia, has been providing life saving treatment for burn victims across Australasia.