things that matter

A Seaside City In Brazil Is Turning Tilapia Skin Into A Potential Medical Breakthrough

STAT / Facebook / Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos / Flickr

Doctors in Fortaleza, Brazil have a new and unusual method for treating burn victims: tilapia skin. It isn’t quite mainstream yet and is still being tested, but according to this video from STAT, patients and doctors are already promoting the new procedure.

Tilapia skin is abundant in Fortaleza, a beachside town in northeast Brazil. According to the STAT video, there’s so much tilapia skin that it has long been seen as waste. Thanks to a few creative doctors and brave patients, the skin is now improving the lives of those it touches.

Tilapia skin just might be the next big thing when it comes to healing burn victims.

STAT / Facebook
CREDIT: STAT / Facebook

“It blocks outside contamination, it prevents the loss of moisture and proteins from the wound, and it stays bonded to the bed of the wound until it heals over,” Dr. Edmar Maciel told STAT. “It’s the first aquatic animal skin in the world to be tested on burn patients.”

The procedure is technically in the clinical trial phase, but doctors have liked the results so far.

STAT / Facebook
CREDIT: STAT / Facebook

“We got a great surprise when we saw that the amount of collagen proteins types 1 and 3 which are very important for scarring, exist in large quantities in tilapia skin, even more than in human skin and other skins,” Maciel told PBS NewsHour. “Another factor we discovered is that the amount of tension and resistance in tilapia skin is much greater than in human skin. Also the amount of moisture.”

One of the greatest benefits of the tilapia skin is that it can stay on for the duration of the healing process.

STAT / Facebook
CREDIT: STAT / Facebook

The tilapia skin is breathable enough that the skin doesn’t have to be removed for the length of the recovery. This is a significant advantage when compared to the traditional bandage and cream that have to be redressed daily which can be painful for the patient.

And, no. It doesn’t smell.

STAT / Facebook
CREDIT: STAT / Facebook

Before being used as a bandage, the tilapia skin is sterilized, cleaned with an antiseptic and sent off for radiosterilization to ensure that it’s is immune from virus and infection.

Watch the full video by STAT below.

Can tilapia skin be used to bandage burns?Doctors in Brazil are testing the skin of the fish tilapia as a bandage for second- and third-degree burns — a innovation that arose from an unmet need. Read the story: https://www.statnews.com/2017/03/02/brazil-tilapia-skin-burns/

Posted by STAT on Thursday, March 2, 2017


READ: Here’s The Amazing Way This Mexican Doctor Is Helping Children Fight Cancer

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A Group Of Immigrant Detainees Have Filed A Lawsuit Alleging They Were Victims Of Forced Labor

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A Group Of Immigrant Detainees Have Filed A Lawsuit Alleging They Were Victims Of Forced Labor

Denver7 - The Denver Channel / YouTube

Former detainees of the Aurora ICE Processing Center in Aurora, Colo. are suing private prison firm GEO Group, alleging they were victims of forced labor. A federal judge in Colorado on Feb. 27 upgraded the lawsuit, which was filed in 2014 by nine former detainees, to a class-action suit increasing the number of plaintiffs from nine to more than 60,000. The lawsuit alleges that immigrants detained at the GEO Group’s private detention center were victims of forced labor in violation with anti-slavery laws. According to The Washington Post, detainees were forced to work for as much as $1 a day. Any who refused the demand were threatened with solitary confinement. The Florida-based private prison company currently holds a contract with ICE.

“That’s obviously a big deal; it’s recognizing the possibility that a government contractor could be engaging in forced labor,” Nina DiSalvo, the executive director of Towards Justice, a Colorado-based nonprofit group told The Washington Post. “Certification of the class is perhaps the only mechanism by which these vulnerable individuals who were dispersed across the country and across the world would ever be able to vindicate their rights.”

Denver7 KMGH-TV reports that the lawsuit started with just nine former detainees of the 1,500-bed facility in Colorado. After the ruling by U.S. District Judge John Kane that the lawsuit is a class-action matter, anyone who was detained by ICE between 2004 and now are automatically added to the lawsuit. This is the first-ever class-action lawsuit to be filed against a for-profit prison firm.

The original lawsuit was seeking $5 million for the nine plaintiffs, but the class-action status added to the lawsuit will increase the amount of money awarded to the victims. The facility in question is reported to have functioned on the work of the detained immigrants since they had only one janitor on staff. GEO Group denies the allegations.

“We have consistently, strongly refuted these allegations, and we intend to continue to vigorously defend our company against these claims,” GEO Group Vice President for Corporate Relations Pablo Paez, told Denver7 in a statement. He added: “The volunteer work program at immigration facilities as well as the wage rates and standards associated with the program are set by the Federal government. Our facilities, including the Aurora, Colo. Facility, are highly rated and provide high-quality services in safe, secure, and humane residential environments pursuant to the Federal Government’s national standards.”

Watch the full news report by Denver7 below.


READ: A Judge Ordered The Release Of Images From An Arizona Immigration Detention Center

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