Burn injuries are, unfortunately, very common. They can affect any person: a firefighter, a child in the sun too long, a man cooking dinner, a grandmother using a new type of ointment on her skin. Whatever the cause of a burn may be, it can result in painful, disfiguring and possibly fatal injuries. The more serious a burn injury is, the more difficult it can be to treat.
Often, severe burns leave a victim with permanent scarring, nerve damage and deformation. Doctors may utilize skin grafts, scaffolding or skin substitutes to treat a wound, but these treatments have limitations, especially when it comes to extensive burns. However, a new system could change the way doctors treat severe burns.
A third-degree burn is also called a full-thickness burn. These burns affect all layers of the skin, including the dermis and epidermis. While these burns may not be painful, since the nerves can be completely damaged, they can be disfiguring and leave extensive scarring.
In an effort to improve the treatment options for these burns, researchers are testing a handheld bioprinter on full-thickness burns. The 3D printer is essentially able to print skin, as this article describes in more detail. The printer deposits sheets of bioink that are “printed” using a soft roller.
The device allows doctors to create uniform layers onto uneven, inclined surfaces.
Early testing suggests that the so-called “skin sheets” can be used successfully on large areas. Researchers state that the healing process has also gone very well.
The fine print
This development, while exciting, is still in the very early stages of testing. In fact, it has yet to be tested on humans.
As such, people with severe burns should not expect to have a doctor print off new layers of skin.
That said, there are still numerous treatment options available to burn victims. Unfortunately, the treatments can be expensive and require lengthy hospital stays. And a person could still experience mobility issues, pain and emotional distress stemming from their injuries.
Because of all the damage burns can cause, and the high level of care required to treat them, it is crucial for victims of serious burn injuries to examine options for financial remedies.
Depending on the circumstances of an accident, compensation through personal injury, premises liability or wrongful death claims could be available. Our law office has a history of securing millions of dollars in awards for burn injury victims through these types of claims. Whether a case settles or goes to trial, Law & Moran can help victims fight for the full amount of damages and compensation they deserve.