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Who We Are

Who We Are Recycle Me is a Burn Care Trust initiative driven by the need for skin for burn patients. We have formed an alliance with three other organizations in order to drive tissue donation in South Africa.



Bone SA will process orders, invoices and payments from government and private hospitals in their orders for skin. They will also arrange for accreditation in various hospitals to allow the purchase of skin

The Centre for Tissue Engineering is a multi-human-tissue bank operating countrywide with the aim of increasing transplantable tissue – bone, tendon, cornea, skin and heart valves – for the benefit of South African patients.

South African Burn Society will offer specialist expertise in the field of burns, feedback on recipients of cadaver skin and with the development of guidelines and protocols for the correct use of cadaver skin.

The Need For Skin & Tissue

Many in South Africa are unaware that tissue donation exists at all, until a loved one needs a tissue transplant. For many, tissue has to be imported at exorbitant cost from other countries, which excludes large sections of the population who cannot afford these costs. This initiative is aimed at raising awareness and mobilizing the South African public towards signing up as tissue donors, raising awareness for Next of Kin on the windows related to early retrieval of tissue from their loved ones, ultimately resulting in stored tissue for all South Africans in need.



Burns in South Africa

“161 children are severely burnt every month in South Africa. Six of these children die due to an inadequate burn care system, and the availability of donor skin is crucial to alleviate suffering and to contribute towards reducing these high mortality rates.” Dr Nikki Allorto. (Specialist Burn Surgeon)

A National Disaster

In a national disaster such as a runaway fire or terrorist bombing, cadaver skin is necessary to save lives on a large scale. This reserve would be over and above patients requiring skin from hospitals around the country.

Donor skin increases patient survival by:
  • Closing the wound with the best possible substitute other than one’s own skin
  • Alleviates pain and suffering
  • Reduces the possibility of infection and complications
  • Can sometimes improve scarring
  • Reduces the length of time in hospital
  • Saving lives
  • Saves substantial amounts of taxpayers money

Our Solution

The impact of having skin available for burn patients will combat unnecessary suffering, allow time for the patients own body to stabilize (2-3 weeks) and be a factor towards improving mortality rates. Whilst our main thrust will be the drive for skin, donors will be asked if they would like to donate other tissue on the list, mainly bone, cornea and heart valves, as there is a critical shortage of all tissue.



Project Objectives
  • To raise awareness on a national scale of the need for skin/tissue donors
  • To create the first skin-focused tissue donor registry in South Africa
  • To create a national network of health professionals within hospitals to raise awareness and identify possible skin/tissue donors
  • To create a national skin/tissue drive annually to raise awareness
  • To form associations with others in this arena nationally
Skin Donor Drive

Over the last three years our skin donor drive has evolved to include all tissue and organs and we have partnered with others in a converted effort to raise awareness of tissue donation in South Africa.

In Hospital Awareness

We will target management, doctors and surgeons, emergency and ICU nurses and staff in order to raise their awareness for the need for cadaver skin and other tissue. Their early detection of possible donors in hospital is where a large percentage of donors are procured.


The Procedure

Blood Collection

Skin Harvesting

Bandaging

Images courtesy of National Burns Centre, India

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