A new way of treating paediatric burns victims is having remarkable affects and transforming the lives of young patients.
In an Australian first, Dr Sandrine Roman, a Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon at Westmead Children's Hospital used the dermal substitute, MatriDerm, on the face of a three-year-old girl who was admitted with full thickness burns to 65 per cent of her body following a campfire accident.
Following surgical debridements on day one and four and temporary grafting with cadaveric skin, MatriDerm was applied followed by a split thickness skin graft in a one-stage procedure at day 12.
Five months post the MatriDerm application, Dr Roman observed improved cosmesis and skin quality when compared to traditional techniques and preserved facial expressions, a rarity for paediatric patients who present with full thickness burns to their head and neck.
Dr Roman said MatriDerm has the potential to revolutionise the operative management of full-thickness facial burns of young children and adults.
"Traditional grafting techniques often result in unfavourable outcomes, especially skin colour, texture, contour and facial expressions," Dr Roman said.
"It's clear the MatriDerm application improved cosmesis and skin quality. This procedure has the potential to provide a more reliable reconstructive tool for facial burns management in the future. It appears to reduce the risk of complications and improve a patient's quality of life.
"The young patient presented with one of the worst cases of full thickness burns I have seen in a paediatric patient. The outcome would have been very different and far worse if I had used a traditional approach.
"MatriDerm is bovine derived, is incredibly pliable and full of collagen and elastin. I've been pleased with the results and believe the application has given my young patient the best opportunity to lead a full and normal life."
Dr Roman's team will be making a verbal presentation at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeon's 87th Annual Scientific Congress which is being held in Sydney between 7-11 May. The congress brings together some of the top surgical and medical minds from across New Zealand, Australia, and the rest of the world.
For more information about the Annual Scientific Congress please visit: https://asc.surgeons.org/