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December 31, 1960

Postmortem Homografts

JAMA. 1960;174(18):2245. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030180065032

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The authors in this text review the literature relative to postmortem homografting. They present clinical material which documents the life-saving potential of postmortem skin homografts in the management of patients with large areas of full-thickness skin loss. The advantage of homografts obtained postmortem versus antemortem grafts are discussed.

On the basis of their vast experience in clinical and investigative skin transplantation in severely burned patients and animals, recommendations as to techniques of obtaining homografts, temporary or prolonged graft storage, and surgical methods of applying grafts are proposed. Reliable methods of skin storage and the "do's and don'ts" in the operation of a skin bank are discussed. The relationship of graft thickness, postmortem time of removal from the cadaver, freeze or non-freeze versus lyophilization methods of storage, media used during storage, rapid versus slow defreezing of grafts, and oxygen and antibiotic requirements to time of survival of homografts is clearly presented.

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