Film: 9119

Medicine | 1970 | Sound | Colour


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The body and its ability to heal 1970's

Still portrait of Joseph Lister Child runs along seashore - nature - each process is followed by another. Next, shot of surgeon making incisions in skin of limbs. A shallow wound will heal without help. A deeper wound will 'gape' because skin is under tension - shots of superficial and deep wounds.

Diagram shows wound with blood in the wound turning to clot. White cells leave capillaries and move into clot. Repair-cells move into the clot. Blood vessels grow into clot in a few days. Fibroblasts now appear and form fibrous tissue. Epithelial cells on the skin grow over the wound but as deeper layers are lacking, the wound could gape. Further diagrammatic shots illustrate the process of repair. For healing, each layer must be pulled together.

Shots of suturing - blood vessels being tied off. And incised wound should heal with a linear scar. Next, we see stitches being removed. Scars take 6-9 months to heal completely. Sometimes excessive scar-tissue is formed - this is shown in a man with severe burns of the chest. Next, shots of excessive scarring on patients. Poor technique - e.g. leaving sutures in too long - many lead to poor healing (shots of bad technique). Scene of patient with wounds of face. Repaired by suturing or with a thin skin graft. Sometimes a graft will contract and lead to a bad scar. Skin of face can be 'lifted' and rotated as a flap.

Next, leg ulcers. Healing is helped by thin graft of skin from another area of the body. Ulcers are seen being covered with grafts. Sometimes a flap of skin can be moved from one leg to another. After three weeks, the legs are separated. Longer 'flaps' can be taken from the skin of the abdomen and applied to the arm.

Scenes of repairing large burns on child. Speed is essential - several surgeons work as a team. Transfusion may be needed at the same time. Child is seen after with extensive scarring on chest and arm. This may contract and cause problems later and a further graft may have to be done.

[Suitable for medical students, pretty yucky for everyone else !].

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