Skin allografts were first used at the end of the last century by Girdner [Girdner JH. Skin grafting with graft taken from the dead subject. Med Rec (NY) 1881;20:119-20]; however, routine storage of human tissue developed only in the 1930s to 1940s [Webster JP. Refrigerated skin grafts. Ann Surg 1944;120:431-49] when reliable preservation methods became available. The first proper skin bank was the US Navy Skin Bank, set up in 1949 [McCauley RL. The skin Bank. In: Herndon DN, editor. Total burn care. 1st ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 1996. p. 159-63]. Several skin banks were subsequently established in the United States and Europe, and in most cases they were organized as multitissue banks. Nowadays, it is estimated that 30 to 50 tissue banks are active in the United States, working according to the American Association of Tissue Banking (AATB) standards (AATB. Standards for tissue banking; 1984) and federal regulations (Real E S and regulations. Fed Regist. 1993).
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