Burn patients may heal faster with the use of an experimental product which a University of Iowa doctor recommended to the F-D-A this week for national use.Dr. Phyllis Chang is a U-of-I professor of orthopedic, plastic and reconstructive surgery. She’s on the advisory panel which approved Orcel, a wound dressing made from cow collagen and living human skin cells. It’s placed over the area from which doctors remove good skin to repair the burned area. It may take 12 to 14 days for the skin from that “donor site” to heal. Studies found Orcel helped skin heal four to six days faster. Dr. Chang says that’s vital as the body has to work very hard to rebuild and heal itself, especially after a severe burn. She says it may be necessary to take more than one graft from the unburned area of skin.Orcel is made by New York-based Ortec International which could break into the 100-million dollar market. Dr. Chang expects the F-D-A to follow the panel recommendation, putting the product on the market within a few months.
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