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April 1966

Skin Grafting: The Influence of Surface Temperature on the Epithelization Rate of Split Thickness Skin Donor Sites

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine, and the Metropolitan Hospital, Detroit.

Arch Surg. 1966;92(4):554-557. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1966.01320220110018

IN THIS present age skin is asked to survive on the surface of men from pole to pole and from Mohole to Mercury. Some prescribe for burns and donor sites an environment which is dry, cool, light, and airy, while others prefer dark, dank, warm wraps. Our epithelium is not finicky, seeming to grow like crabgrass under most circumstances. But there should be a best environmental temperature, humidity, and gas composition. This study correlates the epithelization rate of skin donor sites with environmental temperatures from 16 to 45 C. It also reports on whether environmental oxygen is essential to the survival of free grafts.

Experimental Design  An especially calibrated and cared for Brown electric dermatome set at 0.010 inch was used to cut split-thickness grafts from the anterior thighs of volunteer subjects. To minimize unevenness of the wound, local anesthesia was not used. A salinemoistened sponge was applied for ten

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