Victims of burn injuries typically face a long and painful healing process. It can be difficult for both the victims and their family members to deal with the emotional and physical scars that such serious burn injuries can cause. Fortunately, burn injury treatment is improving by leaps and bounds every day; leading to more positive outcomes for victims and families alike. However, these treatments can often be expensive. This can make it important for burn injury victims who were injured in a fire or explosion due to the negligence of others to consult a personal injury attorney to see if they can pursue financial restitution.
One recent breakthrough in the treatment of burn injuries has doctors and scientists excited at the possibilities it could present for victims of serious burn accidents. The breakthrough involves using skin from special, genetically-modified pigs to protect open burn wounds. Often, when there is not a sufficient amount of undamaged skin from a patient’s own body to cover the wounds, doctors turn to alternatives for treatment–but these almost always lead to eventual rejection by the patient’s body.
These alternatives include using skin grafts donated by deceased individuals, and using skin grafts from animals like swine. The trouble with using grafts from deceased donors is that they are both short in supply and costly to obtain–also a problem when it comes to artificial skin grafts. Additionally, naturally-bred pigs have a molecule present in their skin which primate bodies typically reject at a quick rate. One doctor who founded a team of investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital has devoted at last 30 years to researching methods to encourage human bodies to accept organ and tissue implants from various animals, including pigs.
Recently, this team of researchers developed a breed of special, miniature pigs that do not have the molecule which causes primates to so quickly reject organ and tissue implants from swine. It is possible that skin grafts taken from these pigs could be used to protect burn wounds for up to twice as long as other types of skin grafts that do not come from patients themselves. This could be extremely beneficial in treating especially significant burn injuries, which require longer and higher-quality wound coverage in order to have a better chance of healing.
Revolutionary treatments like these can greatly impact a burn victim’s life. Not only does it increase the chance of survival for those who are most seriously injured, but improved burn injury treatment can also improve the appearance of a victim’s skin after healing has occurred. It can be devastating for victims to deal with not just the physical scars, but also the psychological pain that being disfigured by burn injuries can cause.
Those who have suffered serious burn injuries in a fire or explosion could very well benefit from revolutionary treatments such as these genetically-modified swine skin grafts. They may find themselves unable to afford to pay for such treatment, however, which means that they could benefit from consulting with a personal injury law firm like ours.
Source: “Skin from genetically modified pigs may offer alternative for burn treatment” from the Massachusetts General Hospital