Critical two week wait for burn victim

2012-06-12 14:50
Pippie Kruger before her operation. (Beeld)

Pippie Kruger before her operation. (Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Skin cloned from mouse cells were used on a 3-year-old girl from Lephalale, Limpopo, who had suffered 80% burn wounds on her body.

Dr Ridwan Mia, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, said on Tuesday that the sheets of skin used as scaffold were stapled onto Isabella Kruger’s wounds.

Mia said the operation, which had taken place at the Garden City Clinic, was a success but doctors will only be able to determine whether the skin has taken in the next two weeks.

He said the toddler will remain wrapped in foam and protective dressing to prevent her new skin tearing or slipping.

The skin was grown in a laboratory in Boston in the US, flown over to South Africa and had to be transplanted quickly as it had a 24-hour shelf life.

Kruger was severely burned at a family braai in December.

The procedure has been used often in the US and Europe but rarely in Africa.

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