RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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The use of silver coated dressings on donor site wounds: a prospective, controlled matched pair study.

Burns 2001 September
Acticoat, a new silver-coated dressing, produces a moist healing environment along with the sustained release of ionic silver for improved microbial control. These properties suggest that Acticoat might be a useful donor site dressing. However, there are no human studies which assess Acticoat for this use. The purpose of this study was to compare the healing of human skin graft donor sites dressed with Acticoat, to the healing of those dressed with Allevyn, an occlusive moist-healing environment material, which is our standard donor site dressing. In burn patients who had undergone burn excision and grafting, identical side-by-side split thickness donor site wound pairs were dressed with Allevyn and Acticoat. Re-epithelialization was directly assessed daily by a single observer from post-operative day 6 onward, and by four independent observers who rated the extent of re-epithelialization by viewing standardized digital images of the wounds that had been obtained on post-operative days 6, 8, 10,and 12. Donor sites were swabbed for bacterial culture on days 3, 6, and 9. Subsequently, each study donor site scar was rated by a blinded observer using the Vancouver Scar Scale at 1, 2, and 3 months. Sixteen paired sites in 15 patients (3 female, 12 male) were studied. Donor sites dressed with Allevyn were >90% re-epithelialized at a mean of 9.1+/-1.6 days while donor sites dressed with Acticoat required a mean of 14.5+/-6.7 days to achieve >90% re-epithelialization (P=0.004). The Allevyn sites had significantly greater estimated re-epithelialization at days 6, 8, 10 and 12 than the Acticoat sites based on the observations of the digital images. There were no significant differences in the incidence of positive bacterial cultures with either dressing at days 3, 6, and 9. Donor sites dressed with Acticoat had significantly worse scars at 1 and 2 months but this difference resolved by 3 months. Our findings do not support the use of Acticoat as a skin graft donor site dressing.

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