Purpose To assess the outcomes of treatment with a dermal regeneration template (DRT) in a cohort of combat casualties with severe upper extremity injuries. Methods Records of all active duty military patients treated with DRT at our institution between November 2009 and July 2013 were screened. Inclusion criteria were upper extremity open wounds sustained during combat, requiring split-thickness or full-thickness skin grafting for closure. The primary outcome measure was wound healing after the first attempt at definitive treatment (defined as the first application of split-thickness or full-thickness skin graft). Independent variables collected included time from injury to arrival at our facility, mechanism of injury, wound infection, tobacco use, location of wound, number of operative debridements, and patient demographics. Results A total of 60 patients with 69 wounds met the inclusion criteria. Most wounds were to the wrist or forearm (54%) or fingers (19%). All wounds were heavily contaminated, requiring a mean of 2.5 operative debridements before DRT placement. All wounds treated with full-thickness skin grafting after DRT healed completely without further complication. Split-thickness skin grafting was successful in 96% of patients. Conclusions DRT wound dressings are a helpful adjunct in the treatment of contaminated war wounds to the upper extremity. Type of study/level of evidence Therapeutic IV.
- Combat injury
- dermal substitute