Listen to the audio here – (10 minutes; 06 seconds play)
talkRADIO with Aarti and Jamie East
Jamie: Now this is a great story. So this is rather about this thing carried about in the times and then I went online to look at some videos about this and it’s one of the freakiest yet amazing stories I’ve seen in ages.
It’s brill right. So there’s a fish called tilapia so there which is in abundance in places like Brazil and in South America and it’s been discovered that using the tilapia is skin heals burns like infinitely quicker than normal bandages and medication and whatnot so that it’s got it’s got a type of college in inside it which acts as a bandage and there’s this amazing video. It basically makes people like well like a fish really because it’s not got the scales on but the pattern of the scales are still on it. It is taken and it’s sterilized it’s made safe and clean and all the rest of it it’s not smelly and it just gets put on Burns.
And it fits them like well like a glove like a second skin. It looks incredible to me a bit more about that is Dr. Denning is a GP Doctor anesthetic medicine. Hi Aarti How are you doing?
Aarti: I’m very good thank you.
Jamie: Thank you for joining me now. Have you used tilapia skin?
Aarti: Well unfortunately not. This is highly specialized and it’s only just in clinical trials for human beings at the moment. I haven’t used it. I know affect and I do know that in Yorkshire, this year they used it on a little horse a male foal which had acid burns on his face. It’s also been used on a bear in the California wildfires.
So in Europe and for us it’s not really been used in humans yet but in Brazil I believe they’ve used it on 300 patients.
Aarti: Like promising results because it is as you said earlier it is actually more resilient than the materials that we are currently using like thick skin or even the patient’s own skin stretched over their skin as a graft.
Jamie: You know I’ve got a lot of questions Aarti. So did you say that; Did you say that in Yorkshire; we put fish skin on a horse after it had acid thrown in its face.
Aarti: Yes that that was actually in the news in April. I think the rainbow at Queen hospital where this little eight month old male for poor little thing was found in the dumpster.
Jamie: Oh I remember that now. Yeah. I didn’t know I.
Aarti: Yeah. That little horse was treated with this skin and there was a crowd funding. They raised thousands of funds for it and they’ve used the skin on the horse’s face.
Jamie: Now can you tell me what kind of process doctors and stuff people have to go through to get this skin once obviously the skin has been removed from the fish. How do you then make it safer for human contact?
Aarti: Well the skin is currently a byproduct of the food industry where it’s just being thrown out and so they’re sourcing it from that it’s a freshwater fish. So there’s not toxins in fish that has to be removed so they’re using a form of radiation kind of like how we sterilize dressings and make products suitable for use on top of human wounds, so all the toxins are removed all the muscle bits are removed. So it’s just basically a sheet of collagen, the type of collagen that’s found in this skin has Type 1 collagen.
There’s loads of that and it’s very stretchy so it’s almost like the thin dressing that holds the water in and supplies college into the burnt skin to the you know the compromised skin in the process. And that’s one area where I think we will face some situations where it has to ask to CE marking and become suitable for use for us. And that’s going to be a big process.
Jamie: Aarti how on earth do people find this out. That’s one of my question whenever I see these kind of like revolutions in medicine. Who was the first person that looked at tilapia and thought you know that skin looks like it be good for.
Aarti: That’s such an interesting question. The reason they had to use this in Brazil it was actually a necessity because we have access to things like big skin human graft skin flaps and silver subsidizing the ointment that we use. Like when this was needed in Brazil they had an acute shortage of all those substances. And the only thing that was available was this freshwater fish which was anecdotally supposed to help. This was much cheaper for them than all the other viable alternatives that we have now. So they used to that because this was a local product and quite abundant for them and the hospital is sterile.
And they had to stand all the fish skin for processing to Sao Paulo and then they got it from there. For them it was quite viable because they didn’t have access to all the things that we do here. That’s how it came to be use. Otherwise you would just be using conventional therapy
Jamie: Born from necessity. Fantastic.
Aarti: absolute necessity and financial benefits because it was so cheap it was being thrown away all the time
Jamie: It looks I mean it does look quite freaky doesn’t it; even though the scales have been removed you still do look like Aquaman.
Aarti: Yes. Our queen mera, If you are into that sort of thing. You gotta get to be queen mera and the boys get to be aquaman. Yes it does have that pattern but then doesn’t that I mean forget about drawing on the bandages. This actually does look pretty cool
Jamie: And does it just stay on until it kind of I guess wears away or is it removed at some point?
Aarti: Interesting question on the skin, It has to be actually replaced from time to time and they use it for over a week, when until the skin can get its value function back. I think you know they’re actually used this same skin inside the body again in Brazil to replace the vaginal canal as well and that it gets incorporated into the body’s own tissue because it’s so similar to our tissue on the skin it has to be removed and replaced by inside the body they’ve used it and it’s been incorporated into skin into the body.
Jamie: I don’t quite know how to process that information that takes Brazilians that takes having a Brazilian onto a whole new level.
Aarti: Brazilian, they do try new things dont they
Jamie: I don’t quite know what to take Aarti, I’ll level with you i don’t kow whwere we can go with this converation after that!
Aarti: Let’s say this promising but we also have to consider the welfare of the fish and how we are sourcing this before we say that this is the next big thing we have to be realistic
Jamie: well one can imagine the welfare of the fish isn’t great if we removing it scared when we imagine it is only occurs; is it a by product of the fishing industry or all the fish bred specifically for their skin?
Aarti: No and not as far as I know because it is it is actually a staple food there because it’s a freshwater fish. And it’s consumed in large quantities it’s a bit of a delicacy. And the fish skin does get thrown away. So in some ways if that is being used I think it is environmentally, ecologically a good idea to use. Too use it completely. But I wouldn’t like to breed fish just for this.