Farm animals help halt amputations

July 27, 2011 9:49:25 AM PDT
A new material from cows is helping to heal severe wounds.

BACKGROUND: There are about 1.7 million amputees in the United States. The primary cause of amputations is vascular disease -- a major complication associated with diabetes. Vascular disease accounts for 82 percent of all amputations in the U.S. Other causes for amputation are trauma, cancer-related amputation and congenital-related amputations, but these causes are on the decline while diabetes amputations are on the rise.

Typically, with amputations due to diabetes, major wounds do not heal, and the result is amputation. There are several treatments for major wounds and ulcerations, such as skin grafts made of keratinocytes and fibroblasts and a gel-like growth factor that can be rubbed on the wound. (SOURCE: Amputee Coalition)

WHAT IS IT? Primatrix is a regenerative medicine rich in type III collagen. This is the same collagen found in a human fetal dermis, which promotes rapid cell growth. It's a dermal substitute for wound management and healing. It handles like a natural tissue, conforms to the wound or surgical site, and is easily sutured.

Primatrix allows for rapid cell regeneration and revascularization. Primatrix acts as skin replacement on large, infected, irregularly-shaped abscesses or ulcerations. It leads to wounds healing exponentially quicker than they would with standard treatment.

Primatrix is FDA-approved for partial and full-thickness wounds, pressure, diabetic and venous ulcers, second-degree burns, trauma, lacerations, tunneled and draining wounds, surgical wounds, donor sites, wound dehiscence and post-Moh's surgery.

Primatrix was awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association's Seal of Approval, ensuring both physicians and patients that Primatrix is safe and effective for wound healing. (SOURCE: Delray Medical Center)

HOW DOES IT WORK? Primatrix is a dry sheet activated in saline, and after wound cleaning, it is stapled to the wound bed. Many layers of Primatrix may be added depending on the depth of the wound. Primatrix is wrapped in several bandages. The dressing should be changed every three to four days. Primatrix has been shown in several cases to save the limbs of those who would have otherwise become amputees. (SOURCE: Delray Medical Center)


Dana Wirth Sparks
Mayo Clinic Department of Public Affairs
(507) 538-0844

Load Comments