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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 October 2018

Skin graft saves patient run over while out with her dog in Dubai

Woman's bone and muscle were exposed from groin to foot

Ana Marisa Perez, 34, recovers from skin graft surgery. Courtesy Rashid Hospital
Ana Marisa Perez, 34, recovers from skin graft surgery. Courtesy Rashid Hospital

Doctors at a Dubai government hospital have saved a patient whose skin was completely ripped off after she was run over by a car.

The doctors at Rashid Hospital performed a grafting procedure using skin from a cadaver that was used to treat the patient, whose bone and muscle tissue were exposed from groin to foot.

The 34-year-old Filipina was left in critical condition when she was run while walking her dog on a Thursday morning. She also sustained a pelvic and leg fracture.

“It was May 10 and as I was crossing the road with my dog when I was hit by the car,” said Ana Marisa Perez, in a statement issued by the hospital. “I fell but the driver did not noticed what happened and continued to run over my body. It was by the grace of god that another driver saw what was happening and told him to stop or I wouldn’t be here with you.”

Typically, skin grafting takes skin from one part of the body to another. This was not immediately possible in Ms Perez’s case. Instead, Dr Khalid Al Awadi, the hospital's head of the Hand and Microsurgery Unit, used skin processed at a skin and tissue bank.

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“The first step we conducted was cleaning the wound and due to its severe state it required numerous sessions,” said the doctor in a statement. Because the bones were exposed, there was no base to graft the patient’s skin on so we decided to use cadaver skin and apply it on the exposed bones and tendon to act as a scaffold.”

By the fifth day, it was clear that her body had accepted the skin graft, and a second layer using her own skin was used to cover the cadaver skin and wound.

The patient has gone on to make a full recovery.

“I am so happy because I thought before that I will never walk again, seeing my foot recovering and moving and my skin intact is truly a blessing,” said Ms Perez. “I thank Rashid Hospital and my doctors for this.”