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Platelet Gel

July 3, 2007

Concentrating blood could help wounds heal faster.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Kicking the healing process up a notch. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

When you get a cut, blood molecules called platelets create clots and release healing chemicals. To help patients with healing disorders recover from surgery, doctors can actually concentrate a patient’s platelets into a gel and apply it to the wounds. Recently, reconstructive surgeon David Hom, then at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, decided to test the gel on surgical wounds he made in eight normal volunteers.

DAVID HOM (formerly University of Minnesota School of Medicine, now University of Cincinnati College of Medicine):
Whenever we had a greater than sixfold increase of platelet concentration, we saw they closed approximately ten percent quicker.

HIRSHON:
That may not sound like much, but Hom notes that for patients recovering from major surgery, it could shave two or three days and thousands of dollars off a hospital stay. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.