Early use of allograft skin: Are 3-day microbiologic cultures safe?

Benita W. Britton-Byrd, James P. Lynch, Stephen Williamson, Robert L. McCauley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Under the guidance of the American Association of Tissue Banks and the Food and Drug Administration, the use of allograft skin is safer than ever. In addition to the donor selection process and serology studies, current practice is to wait until 7 days of negative microbiologic cultures are completed before use. However, we have used 3 days of negative cultures in special cases as needed for clinical use. But how safe is this practice? METHODS: Between 2002 and 2003, 735 allograft skin donors were authorized for exceptional release. Exceptional release forms were signed by surgeons to document knowledge of the 3-day microbiologic cultures. RESULTS: Only three donors were recalled for positive cultures. The recall rate was 0.41%. CONCLUSIONS: The use of 3-day microbiologic cultures is 99.59% safe. Thus, the early use of allograft skin does not increase the chances of microbiologic contamination to patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)816-818
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Allograft skin
  • Burns
  • Microbiology cultures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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