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New Stem Cell Research for Burn Injury Treatments

hospital patient emergency roomEach year an estimated 450,000 Americans seek ER treatment for burn injuries caused by scalding liquids, electricity, toxic chemicals and fires. For most victims of third degree burns, skin graft surgery is their only hope for recovery. Now, new research funded by the Department of Defense is exploring how stem cells can help burn victims without the need for reconstructive skin graft surgery.

The novel treatment, if successful, could benefit veterans who were burned in explosions and other combat situations while deployed abroad.

“This is exciting stuff when you think of how helpful it could be. There has been little major advancement in burn treatment in the last 20 years,’’ said Dr. Evangelos Badiavas – the study’s lead investigator at the University of Miami’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute. “Severe burns can ruin a life, so there is a desperate need.’’

Study on stem cell treatment for burn injuries

Participants in the study are patients at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Burn Center with severe, second-degree burns. Doctors inject bone marrow stem cells, which have been harvested from donors, into the burn area under a protective dressing to help regenerate and heal the skin’s inner and outer layers. Injections are repeated every fourteen days as the patient’s recovery process is closely monitored.

According to Dr. Badiavas, the research aims to identify a treatment with mesenchymal stem cells that facilitates and speeds up the healing process, enabling patients to recover without skin grafting surgery.

“We are hoping to modulate the healing process, make the wounds heal better. The hope is that on the deeper wounds, with this treatment, we can avoid surgery or reduce the scarring,” explained Dr. Carl Schulman, who is conducting the study with Badiavas. Earlier trials using bone marrow stem cell therapy on deep pressure wounds showed promising results in terms of tissue rebuilding with less scarring.

At the end of the two-year trial, Dr. Badiavas and his team hope to determine which types of patients are the best candidates for stem cell treatment and as well as the likelihood of stem cell rejection.

Second and third degree burns often cause disfigurement and disability

While the future implications of stem cell therapy for burn injuries seems promising,  years of additional research are necessary before such treatments become standard practice in ERs and hospitals. 

At Ellis Law Firm, our attorneys know that burn injury victims are often traumatized by lasting physical and psychological scars. Even with reconstructive skin grafting, second and third degree burns can leave patients with permanent disfigurement and disability.

Our experienced burn injury lawyers represent clients who’ve been harmed by:

  • Building fires
  • Burns due to explosions
  • Chemical burns
  • Electrical burns caused by faulty products
  • Locked fire exits
  • Scalding water and pipes

Los Angeles burn injury attorneys

If you or a loved one has suffered burns in a fire or workplace accident in Southern California, the Ellis Injury law firm is here to help. Our attorneys offer more than 25 years of experience handling burn injury claims in the greater Los Angeles area, and understand the life-shattering effects fire and workplace accidents can place on victims.

We recently secured a $4.1 million verdict on behalf of a client who suffered severe burns from a propane tank explosion. The court award will provide his family the financial security needed for future medical bills, lost income, pain, suffering and other losses.

Call us at 1-800-INJURED for a no-obligation consultation with Los Angeles burn injury lawyers; there are no upfront costs or legal fees unless we win or settle your lawsuit. Our legal team will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your case, and if negligence is found to be a contributing factor, we promise to obtain the compensation you deserve to move on with your life.

  1. Miami Herald, UM study explores how stem cells can help burn victims http://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article8112063.html
  2. American Family Physician, Outpatient Burns: Prevention and Care http://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0101/p25.html