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Red Cross Hospital in desperate need of human skin donations

The majority of the skin is used to assist burn victims who are in need of skin transplants.

Picture: childrenshospitaltrust.org.za

CAPE TOWN - The Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital said there was a critical shortage of human skin donations.

The majority of the skin is used to assist burn victims who are in need of skin transplants.

The Organ Donor Foundation has highlighted the fact that many children could die if they don't receive human skin grafts.

Dr Gary Dos Passos, head of the burns unit, says there is currently no human skin available and with fire season ahead there's a growing concern.

“There is a shortage of skin at the moment. The last two months or so, I’ve been waiting for donors to come through and it hasn’t happened. This winter, in particular, has been bad, last year I had to cope without having to use other human skin substitutes. This winter we were able to use mostly animal skin substitute because of the shortages,” he said.

Natasha Hendricks said she wasn't aware of skin donation until her 14-year-old son was shot and killed last year.

His organ donation saved five lives.

“Until today, I never realised how important it is to donate organs. I feel like my son died a hero and through that horrific accident, he got to save five lives. We don’t realise how big the decision I made, I saved a family.”

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