The management of patients with partial thickness (second degree) burns is problematic due to the different treatments needed for varying depths of injury. A report recently published in The Lancet describes a novel treatment for deep second degree burns using a fetal skin construct (FSC). The authors included eight pediatric patients with small second degree burns. They showed that FSCs reduced the need for autografting of deep second degree burns, with little hypertrophy of new skin and no skin contraction. This technology is new and exciting, but in our opinion several issues must be addressed before FSCs can enter the clinical arena. All of the patients were included in the treatment group, and therefore no comparison with conventional skin substitutes was possible. There is no mention of the use of laser Doppler in any initial assessment of patients. The debridement carried out before application of the FSC is not elaborated upon, and the surface areas involved in the study were very small in most cases, which limits the relevance to patients with larger burns. The use of FSCs gives us an additional option in a range of possible treatments for this notoriously difficult-to-treat patient group.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine