Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Honey Useful for Treating Wounds in Earthquake, War Zones

A Cheap Fix in a War Zone
By Karen Dente, Los Angeles Times, 9/10/2007

Honey is cheap, making it potentially useful for treating wounds in earthquake-stricken and war-torn areas where running water is scarce and often contaminated. It is being used in Iraq to treat burn wounds in children.

When Col. Dr. Craig Lambrecht, an emergency physician working at the MedCenter One Health Clinic in Bismarck, N.D., served in Iraq for his second mission late last year as part of the National Guard, he was involved in overseeing a makeshift civilian outpatient care center to treat Iraqi children suffering from burns. The Smith Gate Burn Clinic, an hour south of Baghdad, is the only service in the country offering such burn care to children.

The center was supplied with Medihoney, now produced by the company Comvita in New Zealand, to fill the need for a cost-effective wound-dressing solution. The sterile, medical-grade honey was paid for by donations.

Patients' wounds were dressed with honey instead of the silver sulfadiazine gauze dressings usually used to treat burn wounds. The children were sent home with the honey, and their parents told to reapply it.

"We were seeing great results," Lambrecht says. "Patients were following our instructions and reapplying honey to dress their wounds. There were no problems with allergies. The [edges of the wounds] were healing, there were less infections." In fact, he says, "observations were that it worked better than the silver dressings."…

Photo from: Airborne Honey Ltd

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