For the best results after serious burn injuries, people have used full thickness skin grafts for years. They’ve been referred to as the gold standard and are used all around the world.
However, they can be complicated and problematic. In cases where severe burns have taken place, donors have to be found for the skin grafts, making them impossible if one can’t be found. Injury sites can also be difficult to treat.
For these reasons, doctors have turned to split thickness skin grafts, which are often called STSGs. They don’t require a donor, as the patient’s own skin can be used, but they also provide a lower-quality skin graft.
However, researchers may have finally found a solution. A group comprised of individuals from the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, which is located in Guangzhou, China, and professionals from Michigan Tech University have developed a new process. It uses a STSG, but it is used in conjunction with a layer of stem cells. This process has provided improved results without the need for a full tissue graft.
This work was recently reported on in Theranostics. They say it maximizes the natural healing power of the human body by incorporating the stem cells — which have proven to be versatile and beneficial in other procedures — so that better results can be achieved without a donor.
This new development could be incredible for those with serious burn injuries, and it will be important to watch as the research moves forward. Those who are injured need to know about all possible procedures and how they may be able to seek financial compensation to cover the costs of cutting-edge methods.
Source: Michigan Technological University, “A Skin Graft for Bad Burns,” Oct. 31, 2016