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In July 2009, Matthew Uram was at a party when someone poured gasoline on a bonfire he was standing near. He sustained first- and second-degree burns to the right side of his face and body.
The 44-year-old was one of the first U.S. patients to have an experimental stem cell spraying treatment. Developed at the McGowan Institute by Jörg Gerlach, MD, the device uses a person’s own stem cells to self-heal burns and wounds.
For Matthew, a Pennsylvania state police officer, the device was life-changing.
Matthew had treatment on his right shoulder and entire right arm from his wrist up to his neck.
The device has a quick-healing, gentle spray with a patient’s own stem cells. It's a promising alternative to skin graft surgery, which can be painful, prone to complications, and slow-to-heal.
Alain Corcos, MD, chief, Division of Multisystem Trauma, Department of Surgery, UPMC Mercy, works with Dr. Gerlach on this technology.
Nearly a year and a half after treatment, Matthew has no pain, no tightness, and only a little discoloration around his neck.
“I don’t know if it was psychological or not. But when they sprayed on the solution, it felt cool and was relaxing,” Matthew said. “It’s almost as if it never happened.”
Matthew's treatment and results may not be representative of all similar cases.