Sprayed cultured skin cells in burns treatment - Study
Sep 6, 2005 - 7:50:38 PM

The first controlled clinical study to examine the effectiveness of sprayed cultured skin cells to close the wounds of burns victims is being undertaken at the Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (QVH), East Grinstead.

Mr Phil Gilbert, Consultant Plastic Surgeon who specialises in burns said: “In pilot studies we get the impression that wounds heal noticeably quicker with less scarring using this spray on method with skin cells. We now need to quantify how good it is at saving lives, repairing wounds and reducing the cost of caring for burns victims to the NHS.”

Skin cells have been grown in the laboratory since the mid 1970s, but until now there has not been a significant scientifically controlled study. Dr Liz James, a cell culture scientist and Head of Research at the Blond McIndoe Centre for medical research, based at the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, said: “We will be conducting the multi-centre study on two groups of patients; 24 adults with severe burns and 50 children aged between 12 and 36 months with scalds. We have seen what I can only describe as miraculous results using spray on skin with patients surviving 90% burns who otherwise had very little chance of survival.”

Scalding is one of the most common reasons for children to be seen in hospital. Amanda Wood, head of the paediatric burns unit at the Queen Victoria Hospital said: “We admit 300 paediatric cases a year, of these 200 are as a result of scalding. Until now, children with scalds have been at a high risk of developing scars. We hope that this study will show that they need not be left with a lifetime’s reminder of a childhood accident.”

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