Wednesday, January 4, 2017

BURN TREATMENT MED TECH: Low Tech v High Tech Series: Pro-Silver, Away!

By: Kaeru
(Originally published at Techlens, republished on The Information Station with prior permission of the author and site owner.)

Image result for silver

Can Silver Vanquish Burns?
Ouch! Burns are as much commonplace outdoors as they are in the home.  Basically a burn can happen from any type of extreme acute exposure to heat, cold, elemental radiation (radioactive or fission materials), electricity, or caustic chemical agents.  These injuries account for the greatest hospital stays and high care costs nationwide.  Thermal exposure to hot surfaces, liquids, or direct heat is most common for the outdoor enthusiast.  Regardless of the etiology, burn care requires important steps to provide comfort and promote healing.  Below we will explore two medical technologies, one low tech and one high tech, which anyone can use to care for burns.
Most people may remember the simple steps mom or dad used as you scalded your hand with hot, running bath or sink water when you were a child.  May be, no.  Ok, what about accidently touching the camping stove or knocking the boiling water onto an arm or leg after reaching for the thermos?  Now we’re cooking.
Nothing replaces proper training and experience in handling burn emergencies.  Before plunging into the hot-tech water, a review of initial steps how to care is critical to this examination.  The six-C's are all one needs to remember in burn care.
That is: clothing, cooling, cleaning, chemoprophylaxis, covering, and comforting or pain management.
Step one; remove hot or burnt clothing and jewelry from the wound area.  Step two; cool the affected area with copious cool water.  DO NOT use ice.  Step three; clean the wound area with mild soap and cool water.  Step four; all burns beyond superficial ones should be treated with infection prophylaxis.  Here are two products just for this purpose.

Image result for cvs Anti-Microbial Silver Gel and Hydrogel Pads
Low-Tech Burn Care
Our Low-Tech product is actually a double dose of Over-the-Counter (OTC) Anti-Microbial Silver Gel and Hydrogel Pads.  This double-punch burn care strategy is useful for the outdoorsman.  The brand featured here is a CVS Pharmacy grade product available to the general public.  The medical technology involved is twofold.  First, the Anti-Microbial Silver Gel consists of 55 parts per million (ppm) of Silver Chloride where the Silver is in a nano-crystalline form.   Silver has become a well know and evidence-based anti-everything.  The heavy metal, naturally found in biology, is an anti-bacterial, anti-septic (used on living tissue), and disinfectant (used on non-living surfaces).  Although some experts may disagree, most scientific research concludes there is a remarkable observation of the benefits of Silver nano-technologies in burn management.
Once placed onto a wound, the nano-crystalline technology begins to work within 30 minutes.  So this would be the first layer of the double-punch low tech idea.  Next, placement of a Hydrogel Pad directly over the gelled up area completes the tag team.  The CVS brand is a product made in the United Kingdom (UK) and it is a great product for superficial or partial-thickness burn injuries.  The 4.98cm X 7.49cm pad provides cooling properties since the material is mostly made of sterile water.  The description even boasts their products have three times the absorbency compared to other hydro-gels.  Each unit helps hydrate the skin without infiltration and facilitates drainage which, in collaboration promotes healing.  They do not stick to the wound and Latex® free.  Wrapping the pad covering with some gauze will help streamline the intervention by keeping everything in its place for up to three days.

Image result for Smith & Nephew ACTICOAT® Flex

High-Tech Burn Care
Patient care during burn management is critical.  Smith & Nephew ACTICOAT® Flex is the most advanced new medical tech out on the market for burn care and wound management. The various sizes are a unique knitted polyester, single-layer sheet which is flexible to allow ease-of-movement.  Flex 3 can remain in-place for up to three days without changing the dressing; Flex 7 – up to seven days.  The technology is applied to the body easily despite size of affected area or person.  The material is light in weight making for a very compact portable solution.
This product is specifically designed for First-Degree and Second-Degree, Superficial and Partial-Thickness burns only.  Third-Degree Full-Thickness injuries require more definitive care.   ACTICOAT Technology is activated when the material is moistened with sterile water or comes in contact with wound exudates.  Activation is rapid upon initial contact.  Within the first 30 minutes the affected area is fully preserved.  Studies by the company have shown the technology kills more than 150 different known pathogens, offering a patient reliable protection during the healing process after injury.  Silver concentration is within a range of 50-100 ppm.  The material is breathable and promotes wound closure and healing by facilitating exudates.  ACTICOAT Flex is the product of choice for burn wound management.

In conclusion, we worked our way through a burn scenario and examined two products to help with the fourth step in burn care management.  The first, OTC Anti-Microbial Silver Gel & Hydrogel Pad are together, a piece of low-tech available at any hometown pharmacy.  The second, Smith & Nephew ACTICOAT Flex is the next-generation high-tech product for the serious outdoors man or woman.
Oh wait, we forgot to complete the next two steps in our care.  The fifth step is to cover the wound loosely but snug with one of our prophylaxis product in-place.   You can do this with simple breathable sterile gauze.  Finally, pain control measures (Acetaminophen or Tylenol®) and positive reassurance will assist in comforting the injured party.

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