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Artificial Skin Closer to FDA OK

Panel backs product to help burn victims

A new type of artificial skin designed to help burn victims has won the support of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel, says the company that makes the skin.

The FDA's General and Plastic Surgery Devices Advisory Panel recommends that the product be approved by the FDA. The product, called OrCel, is made by Ortec International. It is designed to replace skin at so-called "donor sites," places where healthy skin is removed to be used to heal burns on the body. The FDA says more than 1 million people are treated in the United States each year for burns.

The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle reported on one testing phase of the artificial skin. The story quotes Dr. Joseph Still, a surgeon at Columbia-Augusta Medical Center's burn unit, as being impressed with the product, saying it offers hope to patients who in the past would have died.

For more information on artificial skin in general, the Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry has a detailed article.

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