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International skin transplant success

A SERIOUSLY-burned girl in central China is recovering after receiving a transplant of donated skin following an international appeal for help.
A donation of nearly 1,500 square centimeters of skin was provided by the Euro Skin Bank, a Dutch-based non-profit organization that maintains an allograft skin bank and supports research in burns treatment. On March 18 Shanghai Pudong International Airport Customs provided a quick clearance for the skin donation which had just arrived from Europe.
The girl, Wang Dan, 6, suffered burns over 70 percent of her body after she fell into a fire at her home in Enshi of Hubei Province, on January 7. She needed skin transplants to survive.
The European skin was transplanted on March 20 and 700 square centimeters of skin grafts were applied, mainly to the girl's hips, back and chest, according to her doctor, Xie Weiguo, at Wuhan No. 3 Hospital.
The doctor told the Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News that the operation was a success, but the girl was still in critical condition. He said the transplanted grafts will drop after 20 days when the girl's own healthy new skin grows back.
It is the sixth transplant operation performed on the girl. Doctors had used her father's and her own skin for some transplants, according to the doctor. But more skin was needed and the hospital turned to the ESB.
Earlier doctors at a county-level clinic tried transplanting pig skin but this did not take.
Wuhan, Hubei's capital city, needs 200,000 square centimeters of skin for transplants each year. The city's Red Cross is attempting to establish the country's first skin bank, Xie said.


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