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Stephen Padilla, 24 Jun 2019
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Silver-foam trumps porcine xenografts for scalds in children

30 Jun 2019

Silver-foam dressings are superior to porcine xenografts for children with partial-thickness scalds, reports a recent randomized controlled clinical trial.

Researchers randomly assigned 58 paediatric patients to receive either the porcine xenograft (n=30; median age, 21 months; 19 males) or the silver-foam dressing (n=28; median age, 17 months; 16 males). Time to healing was the primary outcome, while pain, need for operation, infection, duration of hospital stay and dressing changes were secondary outcomes.

Overall, the silver-foam dressing was better than the porcine xenografts. For example, children given the former intervention had a shorter median time to 97-percent healing (9 vs 15 days; p=0.004) and to complete healing (15 vs 20.5 days; p=0.01). This effect remained significant even when excluding those with >10-percent and >20-percent total body surface area.

Silver-foam dressing also outdid porcine xenografts in terms of number of dressing changes (5 vs 4; p=0.031) and the time required to change dressings (20 [10–30] vs 20 [10–50] minutes; p=0.03).  

On the other hand, both interventions were comparable in terms of number of participants that required operation (silver-foam vs porcine xenograft: 2 vs 4; p=0.671) or antibiotics (12 vs 11; p=0.630), and the number of infection cases (10 vs 9; p=0.643). The median duration of hospital stay (3 vs 2 days; p=0.944) was also comparable between groups.

The present study shows the comparative advantage of silver-foam dressings over porcine xenografts. In the clinical setting, the fewer number of dressing changes required when using silver-foam lessens wound disturbance and allows for faster wound healing, said researchers.

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