Death rate of burn wounds in current insurgent warfare is higher than in traditional battlefield wars
Isafjordur, Iceland and Washington D.C., October 24, 2016 – Kerecis, the company using fish skin to heal human wounds and tissue damage, and the Department of Defense (DoD) have entered into an agreement to trial new treatment methods for burn wounds.
A shift in the nature of injuries from a traditional battlefield pattern to fighting against insurgents who use improvised explosive devices has brought burn injuries to the forefront of care for injured servicemen. The death rate and seriousness of burn wounds in insurgent warfare are higher than in battlefield conditions. Ten percent of injured servicemen in recent conflicts have burns. Fully 67 percent of them affected the face and covered more than 20 percent of the body area.
Cadaver skin is the preferred initial treatment for severe burns and is frequently used in the hospital setting. Skin grafting is the doctor’s preferred way to treat stabilized burn wounds. However, neither cadaver skin nor skin grafting is practical in battlefield and other austere environments.
Kerecis plans to use funding from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, through the Military Burn Research Program under Award Number W81XWH-16-2-0055 to modify and test the existing Kerecis FDA-approved fish-skin technology as potential alternative to cadaver skin and grafts in burn injuries in animal models and in a small human clinical study.
“A randomized controlled study demonstrated that wounds heal faster when treated with fish skin than with mammalian tissue,” said Fertram Sigurjonsson, Kerecis founder and CEO. “We are committed to using all our available resources to develop better remedies for injured American servicemen,” he added.