A prospective randomised clinical pilot study to compare the effectiveness of Biobrane® synthetic wound dressing, with or without autologous cell suspension, to the local standard treatment regimen in paediatric scald injuries

Burns. 2012 Sep;38(6):830-9. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2011.12.020. Epub 2012 Feb 8.


Background: Scald is the most common cause of burn in children in Australia. The time taken by the burn wound to heal impacts on scar outcome. Commonly scald injuries are treated conservatively; in our unit the practice is that if healing does not occur within 10 days, surgery is used to aid healing with the aim of improving scar outcome. This randomised controlled pilot study compares early treatment regimens to facilitate tissue salvage and reduce the incidence of definitive surgery at 10 days following scald injury.

Methods: All paediatric patients with partial thickness scald injury were clinically assessed between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010. A burn of 2% TBSAB or more and deemed not to heal within 10 days, were considered for the trial. These patients were randomised to one of three treatment arms: the local standard treatment (Intrasite™, Acticoat™ and Duoderm(®) dressings every 2-3 days) with surgery at 10 days, Biobrane(®) only or Biobrane(®) and autologous cell suspension using the ReCell(®) kit. The primary outcome was surgery performed after 10 days; secondary outcomes were rates of healing, pain experienced, and scar outcomes.

Results: 15% of scald presentations in the 12 month period met the eligibility criteria. 13 patients were recruited into the pilot study; early intervention was associated with a decreased time to healing with fewer dressing changes, less pain and better scar outcomes.

Conclusion: Investment of surgical resources in the acute stages within 4 days of injury saved on nursing time, dressing, analgesic and scar management costs.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Burns / economics
  • Burns / pathology
  • Burns / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cicatrix / pathology
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / therapeutic use*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Epithelial Cells / transplantation*
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Wound Healing


  • Biobrane
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible