Remember when contact between human skin and Super Glue was reason enough to visit the hospital emergency room?
Ironically, now a third generation type of Super Glue is the emergency room's remedy for a laceration.Dr. Ronald Barlow, Timpanogos Regional Hospital's Emergency Center director, demonstrated for the press Friday just how efficiently "Dermabond" can take care of a wound.
Instead of needles and suture line, doctors can now close a wound with just three passes of a vial filled with the new bonding agent designed for use on the skin.
It's quick and painless and patients do not have to return to have stitches taken out.
Young children are far less traumatized and there's very little scarring because there's no further invasion to the body.
"We're excited for this product," Barlow said, using Der-ma-bond on Richard Lewis, a 20-year-old construction worker from Salt Lake City who sliced his thumb with a chop saw Friday morning.
"It would hurt a lot more to anesthetize this. I would have to put a needle right down into the thumb, which is one of the little more painful areas of the body. There's a lot of nerve endings in the thumb."
"And I hate shots," interjected Lewis, who avoided the shot for numbing but still had to be injected against tetanus.
Columbia hospitals across the nation are the first and the only facilities - for a short time - to have the Dermabond, Barlow said. The Food and Drug Administration just recently approved the liquid skin adhesive for marketing and Ethicon, a Johnson and Johnson company, released it to Columbia.
"This will be especially good for young children who often have to be strapped down or heavily anesthetized so a wound can be stitched. Even then, the limb is usually moving all over and it's difficult to close."
With Dermabond, there isn't a scary needle coming at the child and within minutes, the covering is as strong as skin that's healed for seven days.
Dermabond can be used on wounds that occur in areas that are not high tension areas. It's not designed for use on elbows, knees or over deep, dirty wounds such as animal bites.
It isn't used for lips or mucous tissues.
But for lacerations on the face, trunk and limbs, it's a medical boon, Barlow said.
"We just clean the wound as we've always done, ensure that the blood flow has stopped and pinch it closed. In about a minute, it's set. We don't even have to apply a dressing. It can be left open.
"You can't soak it, but you can shower. It can get somewhat wet without hurting it."
Dermabond is no more expensive than the traditional suturing procedure and patients do not have to make a follow-up visit. Dermabond wears away like a skin peel.
It can also be used for surgical wounds but not in place of sutures beneath the skin. However, the adhesive can be used in conjunction with the subcuticular sutures.
And if it's applied where it shouldn't be? There's an ointment available over the counter that will dissolve it, Barlow said.