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Badly Burned Woman Receives Pioneering Treatment with Tilapia Fish Scales

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Medicine just got more radical with this pioneering treatment for burn injury.

Meet 36-year-old Maria Ines Candido de Silva from Russas, Brazil. She used to work as a waitress at a restaurant where, unfortunately, a blast occurred due to a defect in the gas cooker. Ines, along with other employees and customers, was caught in the explosion. Maria Ines was almost unconscious when the rescuers found her.

De Silva was left with severe burns to her arms, neck and face when a gas cooker exploded in an accident.

De Silva sustained serious burn injury on her face, neck, and arms.

Recovering from the injury is one thing, but dealing with the disfigurement resulting from the wounds is another problem. Luckily, her doctors came up with an innovative management.

She was worried about disfigurement but her doctors just won’t let that happen.

Her doctors believed that tilapia fish scales have the ability to promote healing and prevent the development of infection when applied to burned skin. However, it has never been tested in humans so Maria Ines reluctantly agreed to become the first recipient of such an uncanny treatment.

Such theory about tilapia fish scales is yet to be proven effective in humans.

Clean and frozen tilapia scales cut in thin, 4×8 inches slices were applied to Maria Ines’ burns and are to be left for ten days.

Most of the scale patches had to be left for longer than originally planned.

The good thing is, they seem to be effective.

Maria felt a bit of apprehension when she saw the scales on her skin but she chose to trust her doctors.

Three weeks after the scales were first applied, the doctors decided to peel them off Maria’s skin.

Underneath the scales was normally growing, non-infected skin.

Considering the severity of Maria’s injury, only light discoloration were seen, leaving the doctors astonished. Seeing how effective this form of treatment is, Maria has advocated for it and now recommends it to others who suffered the same fate.

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Treatment for burn victims in the South American country currently involves using sulphur sulphadiazine, a substance that heals wounds within 14 days, on average. Dressings and bandages must be changed daily to keep the wounds clean and the patient has to take an anaesthetic shower using anti-bacterial soap. The wound emits an offensive odour after 24 hours if this isn’t done.

Sufferers frequently take additional painkillers to cope with the trauma of the procedure and the stress can interfere with the healing process.

Maria Inês was one of the first patients to be treated in October this year with the Tilapia fish skin procedure as part of the pilot project at the IJF Burns Unit. Maria Ines said the Tilapa fish skin treatment felt futuristic as if it was from a “sci-fi movie”.

Another patient with second degree burns on his leg also underwent the new treatment.

Doctors covered the man’s injuries in fish skin to soothe the wounds

The tilapia stays in place for between seven to 11 days before being removed.

Burn survivors do not need to take painkillers with this ground-breaking therapy and the fish skin is said to reduce anticipated healing times by one to two days.

Maria Ines revealed she is nearly 100 percent better as the fish dressing made a huge difference to her recovery.

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