Saturday, December 05, 2009

Development of new fiber type may revolutionize bandages and treatment of burn victims

With any trauma, and especially with burns, one of the most difficult and potentially deadly issue that commonly occurs is infection.  Researchers have recently developed a new type of fiber which may take a huge step forward in reducing the risks of wounds developing infections.

According to Tel Aviv University Professor Meital Zilberman, he has developed a new fiber which can be used to make bandages which will both biodegrade over time while simultaneously releasing antibiotics into the wound as it heals.  In this way, not only does the dressing not need to be replaced, but it actually fights infection in place.  Not only do the bandages improve patient outcomes, he says, but they also will reduce costs (as bandages do not need replacement and medical personnel do not need to spend time changing them), reduce waste (forget discarding even one bandage, let alone several or more daily) and even allow environmentally friendly reductions in manufacturing by-products and energy usage. 

The only drawback I can think of at the outset is that if all wounds are treated with antibiotics, would the process increase the pace at which bacteria are becoming anti-biotic resistance?  I suppose the bandages would only be used in situations where a doctor would otherwise treat the patient with antibiotics, so perhaps that isn’t a significant concern.  I’ve never before realized how complicated research into new bandages could be.

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Sunshine on Discovery Bay

Sunshine on Discovery Bay
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