- Title: Brazilian doctors use fish skin to treat burn victims
- Date: 25th May 2017
- Summary: FORTALEZA, CEARA, BRAZIL (RECENT) (REUTERS) DOCTOR USING SKIN OF THE TILAPIA FISH ON A BURN ON PATIENT'S LEG GENERAL VIEW OF OPERATING ROOM WITH PATIENT RECEIVING TILAPIA SKIN DOCTOR APPLYING TILAPIA SKIN DOCTOR TAKING TILAPIA SKIN OFF TRAY AND APPLYING IT TO PATIENT'S LEG PATIENT'S LEG WITH TILAPIA SKIN COVERING BURN GENERAL VIEW OF OPERATING ROOM WITH PATIENT RECEIVING TILAPIA SKIN ON OTHER LEG DOCTOR APPLYING TILAPIA SKIN CLOSE-UP OF PATIENT'S LEG WITH TILAPIA SKIN COVERING BURN (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) INVESTIGATION COORDINATOR, DOCTOR EDMAR MACIEL, SAYING: "The most important step was when historical studies were carried out and it was proved that tilapia skin has a great quantity of type 1 collagen, which is important for healing, (it holds) a high level of humidity and high resistance to traction, all of which makes it very similar to human skin." NURSE OPENING PACKET OF TILAPIA SKIN NURSES PREPARING TILAPIA PACKET CLOSE-UP OF TRAY WITH TILAPIA SKIN BEING PREPARED NURSES PREPARING TILAPIA SKIN NURSE ARRANGING TILAPIA SKIN CLOSE-UP OF TILAPIA SKIN BEING ARRANGED (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) INVESTIGATION COORDINATOR, DOCTOR EDMAR MACIEL, SAYING: "In the study of costs between using tilapia skin and sulfadiazine (used in conventional treatment), tilapia skin reduces the cost by 75 percent throughout treatment." DOCTOR EDMAR MACIEL ATTENDING TO PATIENT'S BURN TWO DAYS AFTER HAVING APPLIED TILAPIA SKIN CLOSE-UP OF PATIENT'S LEGS WITH TILAPIA SKIN
- Embargoed: 8th June 2017 18:38
- Keywords: tilapia fish skins burns
- Location: FORTALEZA AND JAGUARUBARA, CEARA, BRAZIL
- City: FORTALEZA AND JAGUARUBARA, CEARA, BRAZIL
- Country: Brazil
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA0016IC7XAB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: **EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES**
Researchers in Brazil are experimenting with a new treatment for severe burns using the skin of tilapia fish, an unorthodox procedure they say can ease the pain of victims and cut medical costs.
Frozen pig skin and human tissue have long been placed on burns to keep them moist and allow the transfer of collagen, a protein that promotes healing, but Brazil's public hospitals lack human and pig skin supplies. Instead, gauze bandage, which needs regular changing - often painfully - is the norm.
Tilapia is abundant in Brazil's rivers and fish farms, which are expanding rapidly as demand grows for the mildly flavoured freshwater fish.
Scientists at the Federal University of Ceara in northern Brazil have found that tilapia skin has moisture, collagen and disease resistance at levels comparable to human skin, and can aid in healing.
The tilapia treatment can speed up healing by several days and reduces the need for pain medication, the Brazilian researchers say, adding that the treatment costs 75 percent less than the sulfadiazine cream typically used on Brazilian burn patients.
The researchers hope the treatment will prove commercially viable and encourage businesses to process tilapia skin for medical use.
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