Doctors to test 'spray-on skin' method

Sept. 6, 2005 at 10:36 AM
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SUSSEX, England, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Doctors at Britain's Queen Victoria Hospital in West Sussex have received ethical approval to test a "spray on skin" technique to treat burn victims.

The doctors are encouraged by the new technique after it saved the life of a man with burns over 90 percent of his body, the Times of London reported.

The treatment, which eliminates the need for painful, disfiguring skin grafts, involves taking a patient's skin, which is made into a mesh so that it can cover a larger area. This is placed over the wound and acts as a lattice on which cultured skin cells are sprayed using an aerosol, the report said.

The technique, developed in Australia, may also help treat other injuries involving significant skin loss. It is thought to speed the healing process and reduce scarring.

Phil Gilbert, a consultant plastic surgeon at Queen Victoria Hospital, said: "This technique can allow us to treat large areas of burns -- covering more than 30 percent of the body -- which will be able to heal in a shorter time with fewer procedures."

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