Skin grafting and patient hemoglobin level

by nadine on February 21, 2012

Wound healing requires adequate oxygen delivery to the area of injury which is dependent on circulating blood hemoglobin (hgb) levels.  So a common question is:  ‘What is the optimal hgb level for a patient in need of a split thickness skin graft?’. Historically, a hgb of 10 g/dl has been felt to be low, but [...]


Nontraditional woundcare: sugar dressings

by nadine on November 24, 2011

Dating back to ancient times, sugar, honey and other sugar containing substances have been applied to wounds to promote healing.   This modality is especially useful in areas where sugar is cheap and plentiful. Sugar essentially works to by drawing moisture from the wound thereby creating an environment hostile to bacterial growth.  Sugar dressings have been [...]


Do it yourself wound care: solutions

by nadine on September 17, 2011

Wound care is a challenge everywhere.  When you don’t have access to solutions useful for dressings, you can make your own.  Here are some “recipes”. Make your own solutions for dressings, for cleansing wounds. Saline solution: Boil a liter of water for 15 min in a covered pot. Add 1 tsp (5ml) of table salt [...]


While in the Democratic Republic of Congo, I had a chance to use a Lifebox – the low cost, very  reliable pulse oximeter developed as part of ‘safe surgery’ initiatives for low income countries. Although I personally have some concerns with the promotion of this tool as  means for ensuring “safe surgery”, it [...]

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More on Burns….

by nadine on July 26, 2011

Having just returned from 2 weeks working in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo- I am again humbled and saddened by the devastating effects of burn injuries. Some patient examples:   As mentioned in my prior blog posting- prevention is key.   Prevention of the burn injury in the first place Many burn injuries, especially [...]



by nadine on May 23, 2011

Severe burns are a worldwide problem especially  in rural areas.  Aside from the immediate loss of life, the potential for long-term disability is great.  In subSaharan Africa, young children under the age 15, lose seven times the number of productive years from fires than from war. In South Asia, more years of healthy life are [...]


about plastic surgery and global health

by nadine on May 19, 2011

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If this were your hand, severely deformed from a previous burn injury,  you would want access to a plastic surgeon. When considering the major disease control priorities in developing countries, the paucity of plastic surgeons is often ignored as a significant concern for health care delivery.  However, the current estimate of the global burden of [...]


Welcome to Practical Plastic Surgery

by nadine on April 25, 2011

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I’m glad you found and I am hopeful that you will find it very helpful as a resource.  If at any time you would like to contact me, please feel free to do so here: Contact.

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