Chinese hospital to grow new skin in laboratory for crash survivors

16:54, September 06, 2010      

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A Chinese hospital is seeking international medical help to artificially grow skin for two seriously burned survivors of a plane crash in northeast China last month.

The Brazilian-made Henan Airlines jet carrying 96 people crashed in Yichun, a remote, mountainous city in Heilongjiang Province on Aug. 24. Forty-two of the people aboard the flight died.

It was the deadliest aviation accident in China since 2004.

"Many of the injured survivors suffered serious burns, and the traditional treatment of autotransplantation (the grafting of skin from a healthy part of a person's body to an injured area) is not appropriate," said Prof. Wang Guosheng, deputy director of the burns department at the No. 1 Hospital Affiliated to Harbin Medical University in the provincial capital, Harbin.

Wang said 99 percent of the body of a woman survivor had been burnt, and a male survivor suffered 65 percent burns.

Autotransplantation was impossible for the woman, and the man had undergone two autotransplant surgeries already, Wang said.

"In order to help them out of danger, we plan to use the advanced stem cell transplantation (SCT) technology to grow skin. We have invited experts on SCT studies from Harvard University, Australia's Monash University, China's Peking University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong to give remote consultations," he said.

Medical experts from Beijing and Hong Kong would come to Harbin to participate in the treatment, he said.

"If needed, the American and Australian experts will come too," he said.



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