Surg J (N Y). 2023 Dec 22;9(4):e135-e144. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-1777790. eCollection 2023 Oct.
Introduction Delayed presentation of burn patients, in a developing country with the patient being referred from one center to another higher one, is a common occurrence. Efficient management of such delayed burn wounds thus becomes critical to decrease the morbidity of the patient within economic constraints. The advantages of collagen dressing are numerous. However, there is scarce literature on the timing of its application. Traditionally, it is thought that collagen sheets should be applied within 24 hours of burns as the wound is still sterile. This thus becomes ironical as patients are presenting late. Hence, we studied retrospectively the result of collagen application in delayed presentation of burns. Methods A retrospective study was conducted in which records of pediatric patients of less than 10 years with less than 30% total body surface area scald burns were considered. Collagen dressing was done in all these patients. Presentation time from burns, timing of collagen application, status of wound at various check dresses, complication of burn wound, and total healing times were recorded. Appropriate statistical formulas were used to calculate significance levels for continuous and categorical variables. Result Fifty-three patients, 33 male and 20 female were studied. The most common cause of scald was hot water spillage from baths and cooking, with the anterior trunk being the most involved site. The mean time of presentation of the patient from burns is 71.74 hours and that of collagen application was 76.4 hours. Fourteen (25.4%) patients had wound complications in the form of soakage, fever, and pus. Eight patients had their collagen removed. The average healing time for patients with intact collagen was 12.15 days and that for those on daily dressing was 21.9 days. Conclusion Collagen should be preferred even when the patient presents after 24 hours of burns. A thoroughly washed wound is a necessary prerequisite before collagen application. Burn patients presenting after 3 days have a higher incidence of wound infection. No such time stamp of application of collagen sheets within 24 hours can thus be given for its use as the advantages of adhered and successful collagen dressings outweigh those on daily dressings.