Human cadaveric donor skin is commonly used for the treatment of extensive burns. To minimize the risk of transfer of bacteria, viruses, and prions to the recipient, the donor and cadaver skin are screened according to standard transplantation protocols.Methods.
Since 1984, glycerol in a concentration of 85% has been used as a preservative of cadaver skin; here, data on bacteriological contamination of cadaver skin of 1929 skin donors are reviewed.Results.
Results show a reduction of contamination with 70% when antibiotics were used during the processing procedure. Overall, 10.1±4.1% of the cadaver skin showed initial bacterial contamination, but after prolonged storage all skin eventually showed no bacterial growth. The most commonly detected bacteria species wasStaphylococcus epidermidis(76.7±7.0%). The spore-formingBacillus species was most resistant to inactivation by glycerol, but eventually also this species was no longer detected.Conclusions.
In conclusion, preservation of skin in 85% glycerol reduces the risk of bacterial transfer to the recipient and allows an increase in yield of cadaver skin of approximately 10%.