Thrive by IU Health

April 24, 2024

Surgeons use fish skin to heal patient's wound

IU Health Methodist Hospital

Surgeons use fish skin to heal patient's wound

When Wayne Hasell arrived at Methodist Hospital he was in agonizing pain due to a flesh-eating soft tissue infection. Surgeons were able to save Wayne's life, but he was left with a massive abdominal wound. "It was such a big area that I didn't want to jump to using his own skin grafts because you want to make sure that when you use the patient's own skin that it's really going to work," said Rachel Danforth, an IU Health plastic surgeon. "For him I decided to use a fish skin graft, [cod from Iceland]... that requires minimal processing because there is no risk of viral transfer from this kind of fish's skin to humans. We put it on as a temporary thing and then we applied the patient's own skin graft on top of that."

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