“Let ‘Em Burn!”

Ken AshfordGodstuff, Health CareLeave a Comment

That’s what you’re likely to hear from the Christian conservatives, when they read this:

An experimental therapy that uses skin cells grown from an aborted fetus successfully healed severe burns in eight children, sparing them the need for skin grafts, according to a study published today.

The treatment led to the regrowth of essentially normal skin on second- and third-degree burns in about two weeks, according to the report by a Swiss research team. The scarring and tissue contraction seen after many burns did not occur, and dressing changes were easier and less painful, the researchers said.

The fetal tissue promotes growth of the patient’s own skin cells rather than becoming incorporated into the recipient’s skin as a true "graft." Further, it appears that a piece of fetal skin smaller than a postage stamp could be used to produce enough cells to treat hundreds of patients.

"The results were sort of unexpected. . . . These constructs seem to work as a biological Band-Aid, promoting spontaneous healing of the patient," said Patrick Hohlfeld of University Hospital of Lausanne, who was one of the researchers.

The study will appear in a future edition of the Lancet and was published online today. […]