This randomized controlled pilot study examined the effects of a silicone net dressing (Mepitel(®)) and a monofilament polyamide woven dressing (SurfaSoft(®)) on the rate of epithelialisation and epidermal maturation, pain, and ease of dressing removal on paediatric donor sites treated with epithelial cell suspension (ReCell(®)). Fifteen children (1-15 years) admitted for acute or reconstructive burns procedures in a tertiary referral hospital in Australia were randomly assigned to the experimental group, Mepitel(®) (n=8) and to the control group, SurfaSoft(®) (n=7). All donor sites were treated with ReCell(®) and covered with the assigned dressing. Measurements of rate of epithelialisation and epidermal maturation, pain, and ease of dressing removal were recorded every two days until the wound was healed. Results showed that there was no difference in the rate of epidermal maturation between the two groups. Less pain and force to remove the dressing was shown in the Mepitel(®) group when compared to SurfaSoft(®). The rate of epithelialisation was found to be an unreliable measure. Although additional research is required to support the results of this study, these results suggest that Mepitel's(®) pliable, self-adhesive and atraumatic properties may improve healing of ReCell(®) treated donor sites with less pain at dressing changes. This pilot study provides a strong base for further research in this area.
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