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December 5, 1980

Encouraging news on temporary coverings for burn wounds

JAMA. 1980;244(22):2493-2494. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310220003001

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Successful temporary protection of burns by two very different materials was described at the recent meeting of the American College of Surgeons in Atlanta.

One covering, human amniotic membrane, has been used for this purpose, although sparingly, since 1913. However, a group of physicians from Allentown, Pa, has now developed a way of collecting and storing the membrane that makes it much easier to use.

The other substance, called Biobrane, is a newly developed semisynthetic membrane composed of nylon, Silastic, and a collagen derivative.

The new processing method for human amnion was reported by Andrew B. Walker, MD, a pediatric surgeon, Tamar Earnest, MD, and Alan Schragger, MD. Amniotic membrane has been known for some years to have desirable permeability properties, keeping wounds from drying out and preventing exogenous bacterial infection. But the usual method of preparing it entailed stripping the membrane from the placenta immediately after delivery. This