Canada: Doctors are experiencing a nationwide shortage of donated skin, causing concerns as Christmas holidays arrive.
Earlier this month, due to shortage of skin at Sunnybrook health sciences center in Toronto, more skin had flown from Calgary for treating a man with severe burns in more than 80% of his body.
Skin, one of the body's largest organs, protects us against infections caused by fire. It is usually taken within 24 hours of death from cadavers of people who have agreed to donate organs and tissue. The donated skin is used as a natural dressing when a seriously burned patient doesn't have enough of his or her own skin to graft onto an injured area and until the patients regrow their own skin.
Dr. Joel Fish, medical director of Tilley Burn Center at Sunnybrook said that there is a nationwide shortage of skin from the skin bank used for serious burn patients.
He added that, 'Generally the skin banks from different areas of the country will quite readily release skin to the other banks. But there is none, we could only receive a few sheets from Alberta.'
'If we fall short, I'm worried,' Fish said. 'Especially with the holidays, there is a little peak incidence at Christmas with burn injuries.'