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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 October, 2003, 20:07 GMT
New treatment for burns victims
The dressing being applied
The dressing uses a patient's own skin cells to stimulate healing
A new treatment for burns victims is being pioneered by experts at a Sheffield hospital.

Trials of the technique show it helps to speed up the healing process by stimulating new skin growth over the injured area.

The treatment being used at the Northern General Hospital uses special dressings which are a combination of a growth solution and a sample of the patient's own skin cells.

The mixture is incubated for up to 72 hours and then applied to the patient's wounds.

There are patients where the wounds really aren't healing at all and these cells bump start the wound to get healing under the patients own steam
Professor Sheila McNeil
Archie Newman suffered serious burns to his legs following a bonfire accident and believes the new treatment gives hope to patients in his situation.

He told BBC Look North: "It's quite fantastic that skin burnt down to the bone could be replaced.

"Without treatment I would have had no skin on my legs and the burns and scars would have remained.

"It is a tremendous achievement."

Tissue specialist, professor Sheila McNeil said: "For chronic wounds it accelerates the rate of their healing so a wound that may have healed very slowly will now heal more rapidly with the patient's own cells.

"There are patients where the wounds really aren't healing at all and these cells bump start the wound to get healing under the patients own steam."

The next set of trials will start during the next two weeks when staff move into a new purpose-built laboratory.

Trials are also due to take place in Leeds and Nottingham.




SEE ALSO:
Burns treatment for Iraqis in UK
21 Aug 03  |  England
New hope for burns victims
29 Jun 01  |  Health


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