HEALTHLINE (WAOW) --Dressing changes in the burn unit at the university of virginia are a lot more tolerable these days thanks to a novel antimicrobial gel.
"Nobody ever enjoys a dressing change, but compared to the screams and the moans and the, the squinches and everything else that we had before, this is a tremendous benefit to the patient," says George Rodeheaver, PH.D.
Doctor George Rodeheaver developed the wound-healing substance called PluroGel. It's water soluble which makes it easier to remove a bandage and any left over residue.
"If it's not water soluble, we end up having to scrape the residue off and its extremely painful for the patients. It takes a lot of time," says George Rodeheaver, PH.D.
After the medicated gel is spread onto a gauze pad, it's placed on the burn.
"The next morning we lift it off and most of it is dissolved into the wound exudate and it's a perfectly clean wound. If there is a residue, you just spray a little water on it, it rinses right off," says George Rodeheaver, PH.D.
The gel not only reduces the need for unpleasant scraping, it also cuts infection.
"That environment where it's dark and moist, certain bacteria overgrow," says David Drake, M.D.
Burn units are seeing more and more resistance to standard treatments. PluroGel provides protection.
"During that process which may take two or three weeks in some of the patients, we need to prevent the infection from getting in. And that's what it does," says David Drake, M.D.
Doctor Rodeheaver holds a patent on the gel and is now applying for FDA approval. This is Vince Sherry reporting.