Bilaminate synthetic dressing for partial thickness burns: Lack of cost reduction for inpatient care

L. W. Bauman, M. L. Hawkins, T. R. Howdieshell, A. H. Till, R. C. Treat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Forty-nine cases of second degree burns initially treated as inpatients from April 1984 through December 1987 are reviewed. Thirty-four patients were treated with bilaminate synthetic dressing (Biobrane®) application, while 15 were treated with a topical antimicrobial, usually silver sulfadiazine. The burns ranged from 1 to 25 per cent total body surface area and were comparable in both groups. The mean age in each group was 30 years. Thirty patients were successfully treated with Biobrane®, and their average hospital stay was 9.1 ± 5.4 days compared with 9.2 ± 8.6 days for the topically treated group. The mean hospital cost for dressings and supplies for the Biobrane® group was $360 ± $90 compared with $310 ± $190 for the topical group. Four patients (12%) required Biobrane® removal during their hospitalization, one due to increasing burn depth and three due to purulent fluid collections beneath the Biobrane.® These burns were subsequently treated with topical antimicrobial agents and healed primarily. The mean total hospital stay for this group was 18.0 ± 11.9 days with the costs being much higher secondary to the initial cost of the Biobrane®, the costs associated with topical antibiotic therapy, and extended hospital stay. Although there was a decrease in nursing time and a subjective decrease in patient discomfort associated with using synthetic dressing, no benefit was found in either decreasing hospital stay or total cost of hospitalization and supplies used for inpatients treated at this institution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-133
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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