Rehab for burns victims: How a fish can help

Rehab for burns victims: How a fish can help

The specialist severe burns injury lawyers at Boyes Turner are fascinated to learn that, in an attempt to improve treatments and recoveries for burns victims, researchers in Brazil are now experimenting with Tilapia Fish Skin.

Burns can be caused in many ways, from simple accidents in the home (such as a decorative outdoor gel burner which explodes when lit) through to serious accidents in the workplace

Boyes Turner’s burns specialist solicitors acted for a client who suffered severe chemical burns to 65% of his body when a pipe in a milk processing factory containing caustic soda exploded in front of him. The client needed painful emergency treatment and after a lengthy recovery period was left with extensive scarring and psychological injury. 

In addition to securing full compensation for our severe burn injury clients, we aim to maximise their recovery by obtaining funding for conventional treatment and rehabilitation, such as surgery, dermabrasion and laser treatment as well as psychological therapy to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety.

Following a burn, patients are typically treated with chemicals such as medicated creams and dressings which are replaced regularly to reduce the risk of infection. However, Brazilian researchers claim that the use of fish skin to treat the burns is better for the patient and also cuts costs.  In particular, the researchers claim the application of fish skin to a burn:

  • Eases pain.
  • Allows the transfer of collagen to the burn, a protein which promotes healing.
  • Keeps burns naturally moist.
  • Naturally fights the risk of infection.
  • Reduces the risk for chemical medications.
  • Speeds the healing process by several days.
  • Can be easily peeled away from the burn reducing the patient’s pain and improving their recovery journey.

Additionally, Tilapia are abundant in Brazil’s rivers and have a high food consumption rate in Brazil resulting in a surplus of the skin which is usually thrown away as waste. Odorico de Morais, a Professor at Ceara University, Brazil said,

“The fish skin is usually thrown away, so we are using this product to convert it into something of social benefit.”.

Before the skin is used it is treated with sterilization agents to kill viruses and to remove the fish smell. The skin is then frozen and can be stored for a period of two years.

The use of skin to treat burns is not completely un-precedented, however, in the past many countries have applied human and pig skin to burns to treat them and assist in the recovery process.

So far, 56 patients have successfully been treated with Tilapia skin as part of a clinical trial.

Boyes Turner understand the impact a burn can have on a person. Following the initial injury which is extremely painful, victims are often left facing a long recovery, and are usually left with unsightly scars which have a psychological impact.

Boyes Turner await the results of the Tilipia trial and are keen to discover whether the use of Tilapia skin will be approved in Brazil and elsewhere as a mainstream method of treatment for the benefit of burns victims.

If you or someone you know has been affected by burns please contact us to see if we can assist you in pursuing a claim and exploring your rehabilitation options.

The service was personal, professional and considered. I was treated so kindly and in the end I knew that not only had I found the right organisation but also the right person.

Boyes Turner client

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