Friday, March 24

Despite lockdown, plastic surgeons continue to save lives

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Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns, hospitals in Kolkata have carried out some incredible feats over the last 3-4 months. While the SSKM Hospital succeeded in restructuring the severed hand of a patient, the Central Hospital of South Eastern Railway (SER) at Garden Reach saved the life of a four-year-old child from Asansol who suffered nearly 70% burns. The procedure involved procuring skin from the National Burns Centre (NBC) in Mumbai.

“The child fell into a tub of boiling water and suffered severe burns. He arrived at the hospital at Garden Reach early in February. Initially, a team of plastic surgeons led by Anjana Malhotra, president of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of West Bengal, carried out early burn wound excisions that practically left no skin on the child’s body. Skin was first taken from his father for reconstructive surgery. Later, when no more skin could be donated by his father, cadaveric skin was procured from NBC,” a source said.

In March, the kid was still critical and in need of more surgeries. The human body normally starts rejecting skin borrowed from donors or cadavers after 3-4 weeks and surgeries were planned to graft new skin from his own body to the parts of body that still required healing. This involved MEEK Micrografting where skin is expanded before use on a burn patient. This continued throughout April.

“The child was declared fit and released from hospital last week. During the period, SER’s Central Hospital also treated a patient whose finger got detached from the rest of his hand. This happened when his ring got stuck in some machinery. The finger was successfully re-attached. Other hospitals, including SSKM and R G Kar, have also treated serious cases that involved plastic surgery,” the source said on the eve of National Plastic Surgery Day on July 15.


Source: Times of India

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