The Burn Unit’s favorite gun

Have you ever used spray tan? spray sunscreen? spray painted? used Febreeze? Then you have the skills to help burn victims become good as new!

When the skin is burned away, there is nothing to protect you from bacteria. It is critical to cover exposed injuries immediately to avoid infections. Skin grafts are typically used but they are painful, take weeks to heal and often leave noticeable scars.

That’s where Dr. Jörg C. Gerlach comes in. He found a way to take a small sample of healthy skin cells from the patient (including stem cells), grow them out and spray the cells, using a “spray gun”, over the wound. Why is this so great?

  • From the point of collecting healthy cells, the entire process takes only 1.5 hours.
  • The technology uses the patient’s own cells so it will not be rejected.
  • The procedure is very light and painless relative to it’s surgical alternative.
  • The patient heals faster (days vs. weeks) and has much lesser scaring.

I don’t want to show graphic pictures. To give you an idea of how well this spray gun works, look at this boy. He had 2nd degree burns covering the front of his torso: neck to navel. This is him after the treatment.

Zed Merrick after 2nd degree burn treated with ReCell spray gun

Can you imagine what this 2 year old would have had to go through if this treatment wasn’t available?

ReCell Treatment has a variety of other uses from improving the appearance of scars and wrinkles, tattoo removal and other skin damage/conditions. 

For Zed’s full story, including some graphic pictures, read here: it’s skincredible.


My pill bottle and me

It can be tough to make environmental efforts in your daily life when you are living with a disability. This weeks Technology Tuesday featured the environmentally responsible Solar Powered Wheelchair, and it’s exciting because you see environmental efforts becoming accessible! I don’t think that’s something many people give much thought to.

Personally, my biggest frustration is from all my empty medicine bottles. Think about how many prescription, vitamin and suppliment bottles you pile up each year. Multiply that to reflect a lifetime. It’s a big deal.

I know you can recycle the normal way, but I just feel there has to be something better to do! Unfortunately, pharmacies don’t reuse those bottles. So I tried to think of other uses/ideas and here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • travel sewing kit – just add thread, needle, safety pins, etc.
  • travel size container for shampoo, conditioner or lotion.
  • ice maker – or popsicle maker, single serving of jello (shot) maker, or freeze some coffee/tea for a hot summer’s day.
  • sharps container – or for traveling with a razor.
  • art…

pill bottle art

Obviously these can make a great storage solution for:

  • coins – for parking or laundry.
  • craft supplies – glitter, push pins, buttons, etc.
  • masculine craft supplies – nails, screws, nuts, bolts
  • food – airtight storage for spices or for packing single servings for lunch (of salad dressing for example)
  • game pieces or dice.

Other options:

  • Medical Information – Since paramedics might look for medicines in your refrigerator/freezer, you can put all your medical info inside a prescription bottle and store it there. This way your info is easy to find in case of emergency.
  • String Musical instrument humidifier – since string instruments need humidity. Poke a whole in the lid of the bottle and fill it with a wet sponge. I wouldn’t know but these guys say it’s a “perfect humidifier for your instrument case.”
  • Donate to your veterinary office or local humane society- they are not as strictly controlled as human pharmacies. (They might even accept expired antibiotics and other expired prescriptions).

I’m not blown away with this list. I still wish there was something more I could do. So I would LOVE to hear whatever ideas you’ve come up with or any programs you know that recycle or reuse bottles! Please comment below.

Last one, I promise: ears for your giraffe Halloween costume 😉