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J Pediatr Surg. 2001 Jan;36(1):113-8.

Effectiveness of beta-glucan collagen for treatment of partial-thickness burns in children.

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Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.



Beta glucan collagen matrix (BGC), which combines the carbohydrate beta-glucan with collagen, has been used as a temporary coverage for adult partial thickness burns with reported good results. Observed advantages of BGC coverage include reduction of pain, improved healing, and better scar appearance. Potentially even more important in children is the elimination of painful daily dressing changes to the burned epithelial surface, as well as decreased fluid loss. This report details the authors' 2-year experience with BGC in a pediatric burn center.


Retrospective chart review of 225 consecutive pediatric patients treated at our institution between 1997 and 1999 identified 43 patients (19%) with suspected partial thickness burns treated with BGC as the primary wound dressing. BGC was applied to a debrided burn wound and secured with steri-strips, kerlix, and an ace wrap. After 24 hours, adherence of the BGC was confirmed and then left open to air.


The most common cause of burn injury was scald (61%), followed by flame (37%), and contact (2%). The average age of patients was 5.5 years (range, 6 weeks to 16 years) and mean percent total body surface area burned was 9.3% (1% to 35%). Thirty-four patients (79%) had the BGC remain intact while the wound healed underneath, with excellent cosmetic results, minimal analgesic requirements, and no need for repetitive dressing changes. Nine patients (21%) had the BGC removed before wound healing: 6 patients lost the BGC because of progression of the burn to full thickness, 2 had BGC nonadherence over a joint, and 1 had an unexplained nonadherence.


Partial-thickness burns in children can be effectively treated with BGC with good results, even in infants and toddlers. BGC markedly simplifies wound care for the patient and family and seems to significantly decrease postinjury pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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