An allograft is a wound covering that is made from donated human cadaver skin. Allografts are processed and stored in skin banks until they are needed. Allografts can be used to cover a variety of wounds, including burns, ulcers, and traumatic injuries.
Benefits of Allografts
Allografts offer a number of benefits, including:
- They can provide immediate coverage for large wounds.
- They can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
- They can help to promote healing.
- They can help to prevent infection.
Types of Allografts
There are two main types of allografts:
- Fresh allografts: Fresh allografts are harvested from donors within 24 hours of death. Fresh allografts are typically used for short-term wound coverage.
- Cryopreserved allografts: Cryopreserved allografts are harvested from donors and then frozen. Cryopreserved allografts can be stored for up to five years. Cryopreserved allografts are typically used for long-term wound coverage.
Application of Allografts
Allografts are applied to wounds under sterile conditions. The wound is first cleaned and debrided. The allograft is then placed over the wound and secured with sutures or staples.
After an allograft is applied, the wound will need to be monitored closely for signs of infection. The patient will also need to be instructed on how to care for their wound at home.
Allografts are a valuable tool for wound management. Allografts can provide immediate coverage for large wounds, help to reduce pain and inflammation, promote healing, and prevent infection.
Allografts are typically safe and effective, but there are some risks associated with their use. These risks include:
- Infection: Allografts can become infected, just like any other wound.
- Rejection: The body may reject the allograft, which can cause the wound to fail to heal.
- Hemorrhage: The allograft may bleed, which can require additional surgery.