there are four bone banks in the country
Kanchan Siddiqui
[email protected]
Durgapur, 7 February
A ‘Bone Bank’ proposed six years ago in the state remains a distant dream. According to veteran orthopaedics, the highly essential matter, for reasons not known to us, has been overlooked.
A Bone Bank serves as a procurement and distribution centre of human allograft bones obtained from live donors as well as amputated limbs. These are provided as non-viable allografts, preserved by freezing or freeze-drying and sterilized by gamma irradiation. It can also provide soft tissue grafts like bone tendon bone grafts and ligaments. Cases like bone tumour and congenial bone defects require a Bone Bank in the state, the experts said.
At the 32nd state conference of the West Bengal Orthopaedic Association here, senior orthopaedic surgeons like Dr Tapan Moitra, Dr Anjan Pan said that  a high demand for bone grafts for patients with poly-trauma and complex limb reconstruction means that the state requires to establish a dedicated Bone Bank that will aid in reconstructive procedures.” Dr Debdutta Chatterjee, secretary of the WBOA, said: “In 2008, the first proposal was forwarded to the state by a Medical College and we had approached the state health services department several times on the issue, but there has been no response yet.”
Eminent orthopaedic surgeon Dr Santaram Shetty from Bangaluru had been to Durgapur to attend the conference and said: “The issue of Bone Bank needs a mass awareness as the matter has not received adequate momentum as yet.” Dr Rajesh Malhotra of AIIMS, Mumbai, said: “Indian roads, in the past decade has recorded influx of motor vehicles and frequent cases of motor-accidents has become a regular feature. Many critical cases come to us everyday and at the theatres, we feel the urgency of a Bone Bank mostly.” India, now has four Bone Banks at New Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai and Chennai.
The state health services also claimed that the proposal for a Bone Bank in the state has not been stressed at Dr K Mukherjee, Director of Medical Education in the state, told The Statesman: “They might have placed a proposal long ago but no fresh appeal was made for the purpose. The respective authorities need to place a fresh appeal.”
The bone tissue, in the bank, according to Dr Nabarun Banerjee, a reputed orthopaedic in Durgapur said: “Is procured under sterile conditions in the operation theatre from patients who undergo total knee and hip joint replacements and is later provided to the patients who require the same.”