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RTX37MEE
Healing burns with fish skin
Researchers in Brazil are experimenting with a new treatment for severe burns using the skin of tilapia fish, an unorthodox procedure they say can ease the pain of victims and cut medical costs.
HEALTH-BRAZIL/BURNS
RTX37LBN
May 25, 2017
Doctors wrap a child's burnt skin with sterilized tilapia fish skin at Dr. Jose Frota Institute in the...
Fortaleza, Brazil
The Wider Image: Healing burns with fish skin
Doctors wrap a child's burnt skin with sterilized tilapia fish skin at Dr. Jose Frota Institute in the northeastern costal city of Fortaleza, Brazil. Researchers in Brazil are experimenting with a new treatment for severe burns using the skin of tilapia fish, an unorthodox procedure they say can ease the pain of victims and cut medical costs. Frozen pig skin and even human tissue have long been placed on burns to keep them moist and allow the transfer of collagen, a protein that promotes healing.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
HEALTH-BRAZIL/BURNS
RTX37LC7
May 25, 2017
A patient with burnt skin exercises at the Support Institute for Burn Victims in the northeastern costal...
Fortaleza, Brazil
The Wider Image: Healing burns with fish skin
A patient with burnt skin exercises at the Support Institute for Burn Victims in the northeastern costal city of Fortaleza, Brazil. Brazil's public hospitals, however, lack human and pig skin supplies and the artificial alternatives easily available in Western countries. Instead, gauze bandage, which needs regular changing - often painfully - is the norm.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
HEALTH-BRAZIL/BURNS
RTX37LBJ
May 25, 2017
Tanks of tilapia fish are seen in Castanhao dam where the fish are cultivated and skins are used for...
JAGUARIBARA, Brazil
The Wider Image: Healing burns with fish skin
Tanks of tilapia fish are seen in Castanhao dam where the fish are cultivated and skins are used for the research treating burnt skin, in Jaguaribara, Brazil. Tilapia is abundant in Brazil's rivers and fish farms, which are expanding rapidly as demand grows for the mildly flavoured freshwater fish.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
HEALTH-BRAZIL/BURNS
RTX37LBP
May 25, 2017
Tilapia fish swim in a tank in Castanhao dam where the fish are cultivated and skins used for the research...
JAGUARIBARA, Brazil
The Wider Image: Healing burns with fish skin
Tilapia fish swim in a tank in Castanhao dam where the fish are cultivated and skins used for the research treating burnt skin, in Jaguaribara, Brazil. Scientists at the Federal University of Ceara in northern Brazil have found that tilapia skin has moisture, collagen and disease resistance at levels comparable to human skin, and can aid in healing.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
HEALTH-BRAZIL/BURNS
RTX37LBR
May 25, 2017
Fisherman works on a tank of tilapia fish on Castanhao dam where tilapia fish are cultivated and skins...
Fortaleza, Brazil
The Wider Image: Healing burns with fish skin
Fisherman works on a tank of tilapia fish on Castanhao dam where tilapia fish are cultivated and skins used for the research treating burnt skin, in Jaguaribara, Brazil. In China, researchers have tested tilapia skin on rodents to study its healing properties, but scientists in Brazil say their trials are the first on humans.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
HEALTH-BRAZIL/BURNS
RTX37LBY
May 25, 2017
A medical volunteer prepares sterilized tilapia fish skin to be applied to patients with burnt skin at...
Fortaleza, Brazil
The Wider Image: Healing burns with fish skin
A medical volunteer prepares sterilized tilapia fish skin to be applied to patients with burnt skin at Dr. Jose Frota Institute in the northeastern costal city of Fortaleza, Brazil. "The use of tilapia skin on burns is unprecedented," said Odorico de Morais, a professor at Ceara University. "The fish skin is usually thrown away, so we are using this product to convert it into something of social benefit."

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
HEALTH-BRAZIL/BURNS
RTX37LCB
May 25, 2017
A nurse takes a photograph of a patient's burnt skin who is undergoing a treatment with tilapia fish...
Fortaleza, Brazil
The Wider Image: Healing burns with fish skin
A nurse takes a photograph of a patient's burnt skin who is undergoing a treatment with tilapia fish skin at Dr. Jose Frota Institute in the northeastern costal city of Fortaleza, Brazil. The tilapia treatment can speed up healing by several days and reduces the need for pain medication, the Brazilian researchers say.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
HEALTH-BRAZIL/BURNS
RTX37LBL
May 25, 2017
Packs of sterilized tilapia fish skin are displayed at Medicine Development Centre at the Federal University...
Fortaleza, Brazil
The Wider Image: Healing burns with fish skin
Packs of sterilized tilapia fish skin are displayed at Medicine Development Centre at the Federal University of Ceara in the northeastern costal city of Fortaleza, Brazil. University lab technicians treated the fish skin with various sterilizing agents, and sent it to Sao Paulo for irradiation to kill viruses before packaging and refrigeration. Once cleaned and treated, it can last for up to two years, researchers say. The treatment removes any fish smell.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
HEALTH-BRAZIL/BURNS
RTX37LC9
May 25, 2017
Doctors wrap a child's burnt skin with sterilized tilapia fish skin at Dr. Jose Frota Institute in the...
Fortaleza, Brazil
The Wider Image: Healing burns with fish skin
Doctors wrap a child's burnt skin with sterilized tilapia fish skin at Dr. Jose Frota Institute in the northeastern costal city of Fortaleza, Brazil. In medical trials, the alternative therapy has been used on at least 56 patients to treat second- and third-degree burns. Patients, with limbs covered by fish skin, resemble creatures from a science fiction movie.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
HEALTH-BRAZIL/BURNS
RTX37LBU
May 25, 2017
A patient with bandaged legs, who is receiving treatment for burnt skin using tilapia fish, is carried...
Fortaleza, Brazil
The Wider Image: Healing burns with fish skin
A patient with bandaged legs, who is receiving treatment for burnt skin using tilapia fish, is carried at Dr. Jose Frota Institute in the northeastern costal city of Fortaleza, Brazil. The fish skin has high levels of collagen type 1, stays moist longer than gauze, and does not need to be changed frequently.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
HEALTH-BRAZIL/BURNS
RTX37LC2
May 25, 2017
A nurse cleans a patient's hand after removing tilapia fish skin at Dr. Jose Frota Institute in the northeastern...
Fortaleza, Brazil
The Wider Image: Healing burns with fish skin
A nurse cleans a patient's hand after removing tilapia fish skin at Dr. Jose Frota Institute in the northeastern costal city of Fortaleza, Brazil. The tilapia skin is applied directly onto the burned area and covered with a bandage, without the need for any cream. After about 10 days, doctors remove the bandage. The tilapia skin, which has dried out and loosened from the burn, can be peeled away.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
HEALTH-BRAZIL/BURNS
RTX37LBS
May 25, 2017
A tilapia fish and tilapia fish skins are displayed in Jaguaribara, Brazil. Car mechanic Antonio Janio...
JAGUARIBARA, Brazil
The Wider Image: Healing burns with fish skin
A tilapia fish and tilapia fish skins are displayed in Jaguaribara, Brazil. Car mechanic Antonio Janio badly burned his arm when a cylinder of soldering gas leaked. He says the tilapia skin treatment is more effective than bandages that need to be changed every two days. "Use the tilapia skin. It's excellent," Janio said. "It takes the pain away. You do not need to take medicine. In my case, I did not need it, thank God."

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
HEALTH-BRAZIL/BURNS
RTX37LC6
May 25, 2017
Doctors wrap burnt arm skin of a patient with sterilized tilapia fish skin at Dr. Jose Frota Institute...
Fortaleza, Brazil
The Wider Image: Healing burns with fish skin
Doctors wrap burnt arm skin of a patient with sterilized tilapia fish skin at Dr. Jose Frota Institute in the northeastern costal city of Fortaleza, Brazil. Odorico de Morais, a professor at Ceara University, said that the tilapia skin treatment costs 75 percent less than the sulfadiazine cream typically used on burn patients in Brazil, as it is a cheap fish-farming waste product. The researchers hope the treatment will prove commercially viable and encourage businesses to process tilapia skin for medical use.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
HEALTH-BRAZIL/BURNS
RTX37LBZ
May 25, 2017
Lucinete carries her daughter Ana who had 15 percent of the body burned and is receiving treatment with...
Fortaleza, Brazil
The Wider Image: Healing burns with fish skin
Lucinete carries her daughter Ana who had 15 percent of the body burned and is receiving treatment with tilapia fish skin at Dr. Jose Frota Institute in the northeastern costal city of Fortaleza, Brazil. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
HEALTH-BRAZIL/BURNS
RTX37LBT
May 25, 2017
Doctors wrap a child's burnt skin with sterilized tilapia fish skin at Dr. Jose Frota Institute in the...
Fortaleza, Brazil
The Wider Image: Healing burns with fish skin
Doctors wrap a child's burnt skin with sterilized tilapia fish skin at Dr. Jose Frota Institute in the northeastern costal city of Fortaleza, Brazil. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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