An Australian burns specialist is about to get to work placing sheets of Melbourne-made artificial skin on survivors of Greece’s devastating wild fires.
From Sunday Dr John Greenwood will assist surgeons in Athens to treat severely injured patients who suffered full-thickness burns.
He will use an artificial skin graft substitution called NovoSorb that he developed with the CSIRO in the wake of the 2002 Bali bombings.
The former South Australian of the Year carried the skin in his hand luggage to the KAT Hospital in Greece’s capital city after flying out on Friday.
The blaze which broke out on Monday near Athens has been described as one of nation’s worst disasters in recent memory.
It wiped out all but the resort town of Mati where a group of 26 people died, huddled together, caught by the flames in their attempt to reach the sea.
More than 80 people have died in the fires and up to 200 have been injured.
Australian company PolyNovo makes the product in Port Melbourne and it is sold in huge quantities to the US, where it is is also used in melanoma surgeries and for other large wounds.
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“What they don’t have is experience first-hand with our product at this point, so what John will be offering them is hands-on support using our product to ensure we get the best outcome for his patients,” Polynovo chief executive Paul Brennan said.