Children are susceptible to injuries and wounds that require medical attention. Despite being treated in a controlled hospital setting, wounds are at risk of infections. Therefore, there is an urgent need to improve wound healing protocols that prevent infections and avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics. Honey is a natural substance that has been used for wound healing since ancient Egyptian times (more than 4000 years ago). The use of antibiotics made the use of honey for wound healing less frequent. However, the development of antibiotic resistance led to the resurgence of medical grade honey (MGH). MGH fulfils several criteria which guarantee its quality and make its use safe, and in fact, several wound-care products are based on MGH, such as L-Mesitran. MGH is collected in an eco-friendly environment in the absence of pollutants, including herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals. In addition, MGH is sterilized using gamma irradiation to kill spores of Clostridium botulinum, without inactivating the enzymes that are needed for their beneficial activities. Both the wound healing and antimicrobial properties of MGH rely on multiple characteristics, making it very effective for wound healing. Despite these excellent characteristics, the use of MGH in neonatal and young paediatric patients stays reserved.
Aim of this study
The aim of the study was to present multiple cases showing the ease, safety, and efficacy of MGH in severe injuries in paediatric patients.
How was the research performed?
Five paediatric patients with different wounds were treated in the same manner, via monotherapy with daily MGH application (L-Mesitran Ointment) and close monitoring. The different wounds were: an extravasation-induced injury (leaking of infusion fluid into the surrounding tissue), a haemangioma (non-cancerous tumour caused by abnormal growth of blood vessels), a coccyx ulcer (wound on the tailbone), and two thermal burns. Specific wound characteristics were evaluated and pictures were taken during wound care to support visualisation of the wound progression.
Observations during the study
All wounds showed rapid wound progression, as demonstrated by the fast formation of new healthy tissue and re-covering of the skin. The location or the severity of the wound did not affect the healing trajectory. MGH keeps the wound moisturized while debris and necrotic tissue covering the wound bed were effectively removed. And in case infections were present, these were controlled within a week by the antimicrobial activity of MGH. Application of MGH was easy and did not cause any pain to the patients. Honey possesses pro-healing and antimicrobial activity, both contributing to enhanced wound repair.
Conclusion of the study
Our case series supports the safe use of the MGH-based wound care formulation L-Mesitran ointment in young paediatric patients, regardless of the severity or location. MGH was easy to apply and prevented possible infections by covering the wound and via its antimicrobial activity. MGH forms an attractive, cost-effective approach to treat different wound types in paediatric patients, including severe wounds. The use of MGH should more often be considered and can even be recommended as the first line of treatment.
To read the full text of the paper and see the presented cases, please go to: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ccr3.2691