Mumbai: In a rare gesture, actor Paresh Rawal and his wife Swaroop Sampat have signed up to donate their skin.
The couple have taken up the brand ambassadorship for skin donation awareness to help the cause of burn victims. The celebrity couple are closely associated with the National Burn Institute`s (NBI) Skin Bank and had recently signed up to donate their skin, Dr Shilpa Karnik said.
"Skin donation can be done after a person`s death and our retrieval team take out one eighth of the skin from lower extremities and back," she said.
"Through the brand ambassadorship of Rawal and Sampath and their gesture to donate skin could go a long way in creating awareness about skin donation to burn patients to relieve them from their pain and infection," said Karnik, who is in-charge of the skin donation section of the NBI.
"We are observing August one as the Skin Donation Day since last year but so far only 15 to 20 calls have for skin donation," she said.
Rawal and Sampath, a former Miss India and actress, conduct awareness campaigns and talk about the importance of skin donation and will be active in the upcoming skin donation drive planned by NBI.
After skin donation, the harvested skin is preserved and processed for skin grafting purposes. The grafting is done for three to four weeks on the burned skin which helps the patient to reduce the pain as well as helps in preventing infection.
During this period, the burned person`s own skin starts growing (self-generation) and automatically the grafted skin comes out after accomplishing its work, Karnik said.
Since only one eighth thickness of the skin is removed (which does not have cells) from the donor`s dead body, there is no question of rejection of grafted skin, said Karnik.
The skin bank of NBI works in collaboration with the 33 year-old Euro skin Bank. "We expect more pledges for skin donation this year as
we have already started our mass awareness campaign through various modes of communication," said Karnik.