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'Spray-on skin' hope for burns

Health officials are considering introducing "spray-on skin" as a treatment for NHS burn patients.

The ReCell Spray-on Skin uses a small piece of a patient's healthy skin to create a solution of skin cell components which is then sprayed on to the wound.

The cells in the solution then multiply and embed themselves in the base of the wound. The regenerative nature of these skin cells is intended to encourage the growth of healthy skin so the burn wound can heal rapidly.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said the treatment is "promising" but there is not yet enough evidence to recommend it for widespread use.

It said that more research should be performed to address uncertainties about the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the treatment.

Professor Carole Longson, director of Nice's Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said: "Around 12,000 people a year have burns wounds which require hospital admission, which sometimes involve long hospital stays.

"The Nice Medical Technologies Advisory Committee thought that the ReCell Spray-On Skin system shows potential to improve healing in acute burns. However, as it does not currently have enough evidence to support the case for adoption, it has provisionally recommended that further research is carried out."

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