Dr. Tom Colletti, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review available skin grafting options for burn patients and compare the unique characteristics, benefits, and shortcomings of each.
Methods: Using search engines like PubMed, articles from the years 2018 to 2022 were found. Only the articles that discussed the history of burn treatments, current treatments, and skin graft and skin substitute options were utilized.
Discussion: Burn management involves many complex treatments. This paper will only focus on the most commonly used skin grafting options. The conventional treatments that were first used in the nineteenth century include autografts, allografts, xenografts, and amniotic membranes. But newer treatments like skin substitutes and tissue engineered from natural and synthetic sources, including cellular autologous, acellular, and cellular allogeneic options, are also used. Grafting is limited by the availability of healthy donor tissue, possibility of immune rejection, and high costs. The best options require small donor sites, are readily available for use, provide pliable and elastic coverage, have good cosmetic results, and are inexpensive.
Conclusion: Burn Medicine is constantly evolving and there are many available treatment options from which to choose. While autologous skin grafts are the gold standard, each grafting option has unique benefits and risks that can make choosing the right one difficult. It is imperative that medical providers at all levels understand the available options in order to provide the best care for their patients.
Carr A. A Clinical Review of Skin Graft Options for Burn Patients. University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository. 2022; 4(3).
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