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Human skin shipped from US for White Island burn victims

Human skin shipped from US for White Island burn victims

New Zealand has ordered 120 square metres of human skin from tissue banks in the United States to help treat burn victims following the eruption on White Island.

Human skin shipped from US for White Island burn victims

At least a quarter of the skin has been shipped from Community Tissue Services in Ohio, which pulled together around 28 square metres of human skin – enough to fully cover more than 15 bodies.

Australia has also provided almost 2 square metres of skin.

An urgent call was put out to skin banks around the world following the tragic volcanic eruption on White Island last Monday.

Doctors did not have enough skin to temporarily cover burns on dozens of victims.

The eruption saw 27 people admitted to hospital with burns to at least 30 per cent of their bodies.

Some patients had burns covering up to 95 per cent of their bodies, and many of the victims’ wounds were contaminated with ash and debris.

Skin donations are used as a temporary dressing to help prevent infection, alleviate pain, and allow patients to stay hydrated until they are well enough to have skin grafts taken from their own body.

While many other organ donations require patients to share certain characteristics, skin from any cadaver can usually be used on any person’s wound.

A severely-burned patient may need up to around 3 square metres of skin, which is the equivalent of about 10 donors.

Although many people have been calling hospitals asking to donate skin following the tragedy, donations must come from a corpse.

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