Donated skin procedure helps save lives

By Camri Nelson -

LIMA — Lima Memorial physician, Dr. Daniel Kirk, is using a treatment technique involving donated skin to help his patients heal more rapidly.

TheraSkin is an allograft created from donated skin tissue from the bodies of deceased organ donors that is void of diseases like HIV, herpes and hepatitis. The allograft is ideal for patients with chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers and other vascular issues that have not properly healed after implementing offloading techniques, dressing, and ointments.

Before an allograft is applied, Kirk checks the blood flow of patient through examinations and then decides what kind of treatment is best to heal the wound.

If TheraSkin is the best option, the allograft is either steri-stripped, sutured or stapled to the skin to start the healing process. If the treatment is successful the cells from the donated skin is absorbed and the open wound closes.

On average, a wound is usually healed after approximately four applications of allografts, but it all depends on the severity, according to Kirk.

“Each week we want to see that wound shrinking down and you see the skin covering over and the wound getting smaller and smaller,” said Kirk. “That’s how we know that it is working and helping.”

Overall, Kirk said, the biggest benefit of using TheraSkin is that it helps wounds heal quicker and is cost efficient.

“The faster that we can get patients healed, the lower the cost is and the faster that they get to their normal lives,” he said. “That’s the best thing, to see a patient heal and get back to to work or activities that they want to do as opposed to coming in every week to get healed.”

By Camri Nelson

Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.

Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.

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