Recent findings have raised serious concerns about the use of household plastic food wrap to treat burns, which has long been widely used.
According to a survey organized by the Japanese Society for Burn Injuries, 10 people have suffered serious infection from improper use of the so-called “wrap treatment,” including one man who had to have his leg amputated due to complications.
The wrap treatment is a moist treatment method of wetting wounds with body fluid.
"The efficacy of the moist treatment has been confirmed, but it could pose a danger unless a doctor with proper knowledge provides care, using medical sheets," said Hiroshi Yasuda, associate professor at the hospital of the University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan. He took part in the survey.
In the late 1990s, people began using food wrap as a treatment for bedsores. The approach was found to be effective for treating burns as well, and thanks largely to the Internet, its popularity spread.
However, the society warns that the method involves the danger of wounds festering from bacterial infection.
A panel appointed by the society to investigate the wrap treatment carried out the survey earlier this year. The panel confirmed 48 cases of problems involving the treatment, including delays in recovery and worsening of symptoms. In 10 of those cases, patients suffered blood poisoning that caused high fever and impaired consciousness after bacteria from the wound spread throughout the body.
A diabetic man in his 60s who underwent the wrap therapy to treat a low-temperature burn in his left leg had to have the limb amputated after the affected area became infected and started to rot. He had been told by a doctor not to replace the film for two or three days.
The panel, meanwhile, confirmed 54 cases in which burns were successfully treated with the method.
The society plans to issue a statement urging people not to use food wrap and other daily commodities for treatment as a general rule.
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