July 15, 2003
Out of the Ordinary
Wool Bandages for Burn Victims
Burn victims could benefit from a trial using bandages made of wool, which have the ability to slowly release medication, control temperature and absorb moisture from around wounds.
A $900,000 research program funded by Australian wool growers, in conjunction with a pharmaceutical company, is trialing 19- to 25-micron wools for use in bandages targeted for burn victims.
Burn victims often experience problems with hypothermia due to loss of skin. Wool has some unique properties in that it is a natural fiber and appears to be more compatible with human skin. It also has warming and cooling properties that could assist in controlling the temperature of the body.
Elephant Recovering in Wool Padded Sling
Three-year-old Amali, an African elephant at the Indianapolis Zoo, is wearing a ?rescue sling? made of leather and canvas lined with wool padding.
The 2,000-pound female recently underwent surgery to remove an intestinal blockage that had left her weak and unable to eat. The sling, which was originally designed for horses, was adapted for Amali by Sabrina Brounts, a Purdue University veterinarian. The sling allows her to stand and bounce around a little as she recovers.