Mumbai, March 24 (IANS) A 45-year-old man — suffering from 45 per cent burns due to a chemical spill at work — has been healed with stem cell treatment, said the authorities at a hospital here on Friday.
Ram Naik (name changed) was brought to city-based StemRx Bioscience hospital after receiving first aid in another hospital. Nearly 45 per cent of his upper body was burned due to a chemical spill during work.
The impact of the burns led to a charred look on his face and body. Also, joint mobility due to the burns was reduced. The outer layer of the skin was affected, facial burns were of grade II level and in some instances grade III burns were also present, leading to deeper structures like the subcutaneous tissue also being affected.
According to the doctors, burn wound healing involves a series of complex processes, with healing time and scar tissue being the most important parameters that affect treatment outcomes. Burn injuries, especially severe ones, are proving to have devastating effects on the affected patients.
They said that stem cells have been recently applied in burn wounds to promote superior healing of the wounds. Not only have stem cells been shown to promote better and faster healing of the burn wounds, they are also capable of decreasing inflammation and prevent scar progression and fibrosis.
Therefore, the doctors decided to provide Naik stem cell treatment.
Regenerative Medicine researcher at Stemrx Bioscience hospital Pradeep Mahajan said that within two days, a notable improvement in his condition was observed and the swelling and charred appearance started reducing.
“Mild eyelid movements were noticed and on the third day the burns started drying on the face and he could open his mouth and eyes. Growth factors derived from platelets, cells, fibroblasts, collagen-based gel etc. was used during treatment. In addition, in areas with deep burns, sheets of PGLA coated with cells and growth factors were used,” said Mahajan, adding that different medication and treatments were imparted and closed dressing was avoided.
“Blood transfusion and supplementary fluids were given intravenously to maintain systemic homeostasis,” said Mahajan.
Stating that on 5th and 6th day following treatment, dry scales from the face and body started peeling off, the doctor’s team also observed impressive changes such as new skin forming within a week of treatment with cells and growth factors.
By conventional modalities, it takes more than eight weeks for the patient to heal and many additional months for the patient to be able to regain joint and facial movements.
“By the 10th day of the treatment, dry scales completely peeled off and by the 14th day the patient had no tenderness or burning pain. Joint movements became free as well, Steady rate of progression of healthy skin formation is being noticed. Areas with deep burns are also healing at a rapid rate and I am confident that within a month we will accomplish thorough healing and the patient will be back to normal,” Mahajan said.
Medical sciences say that such cases are challenging to manage considering the degree of impairment they result in due to prolonged healing period. Also, through conventional therapeutic modalities healing occurs with scar formation and results in contractures. Chances of systemic complications and infection are also high.
However according to the medical team, by using stem cells, the natural healing potential of the body is used, leading to reduction of healing time and promoting regeneration of affected tissues. This also reduces the mental trauma and financial burden that a patient goes through when under conventional management.
“Stem cell-based therapy has offered a novel and powerful strategy in almost every medical specialty including burns and wound management. Stem cells have proven to have tremendous potential in enhancing wound healing and facilitating skin regeneration,” Mahajan said.