Most individuals who burn themselves suffer relatively minor first-degree burns. These generally heal naturally over time without you having to give them much attention. This isn’t the case with more serious second- or third-degree burns though. Individuals with this severe of an injury generally need to be hospitalized. Some patients may even need skin grafts if their burns are particularly large, deep or disfiguring.
There are various approaches that doctors use to secure the necessary skin that they need to perform a skin grafting surgery.
A surgeon may find an area of the patient’s body that is uninjured and use a sharp razor blade called a dermatome to surgically remove the topmost layer of skin in the area. This skin may then be used to cover any badly damaged areas elsewhere on a patient’s body. This procedure is referred to as an autograft procedure.
Doctors may also perform an allograft or homograft procedure whereby they use human cadaver skin to temporarily cover burn wounds. It’s not uncommon for burn injury victims to have this procedure performed on them before doctors ultimately harvest a patient’s skin for a more permanent autografting procedure.
Another common temporary fix for individuals who have significant burn injuries is to have them undergo a heterograft or xenograft procedure. Animal skin, which is most often taken from pigs, may be used to cover a burn victim’s open wounds while they’re being prepared to undergo an autograft procedure.
There are many steps involved in performing a skin grafting procedure. One of the first things that doctors must do is to remove a patient’s injured tissue. The surgeon then has to identify healthy skin that they can remove, clean and place atop the burned area. Doctors can then turn their attention to harvesting the donor’s skin. The surgeon then staples the skin graft in place, thoroughly cleans it and covers the wound, so the area can heal.
Countless individuals suffer burn injuries here in Augusta and elsewhere in Georgia on an annual basis. Some people are hurt in house or car fires, and others are burned by chemicals and other toxins while on the job. If you’ve been hurt due to someone else’s negligence, then a burn injuries attorney may advise you of your right to recover your medical costs and lost wages as a result.