Gel from blood can heal wounds

A gel made from platelets taken from a patient's own blood could help heal wounds more quickly and thoroughly, according to US research.

The findings come from a study that looked at the effectiveness of the autologous platelet gel in eight healthy men and women over the age of 21.

For the study, the researchers made five skin punch wounds, 4mm in diameter and 3cm apart, on both the right and left upper thighs in all of the individuals.

The gel was applied to the wounds on one leg, while wounds on the other leg were treated with an antibiotic ointment or a dressing.

Visual measurements showed that over a 42-day period, the wounds treated with platelet gel had statistically increased wound closure when compared with the control sites.

On day 17, the proportion of closure was 81 per cent for the gel-treated sites, but just 57 per cent for the control sites.

Six months' follow-up revealed that none of the participants developed infections and no serious adverse events were reported.

The researchers concluded that the platelet gel appeared to enhance wound closure in acute full-thickness dermal wounds in healthy individuals.

But further research is needed to confirm the consistency of the results before the gel can be used to improve chronic wound healing.

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