Dr Greenwood, the surgeon who visited Greece last year to treat the Mati fire victims, has managed to save a 33-year-old man using a world-first skin transplant technique that he developed himself.
The Director of the Adult Burns Unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH), used the composite cultured skin (CCS) technology that he developed in the skin engineering laboratory at the RAH and managed to save Burra burns victim Glenn Ogg, who survived burns to 95 per cent of his body after a house fire in early December 2018.
In mid-January, the first batches of the CCS were ready and Mr Ogg began undergoing the surgeries to completely close his burn wounds.
He became the first to benefit from Dr Greenwood’s new technique.
The award-winning surgeon said the new skin, developed with scientists Bronwyn Dearman and Amy Li, was grown in a specially designed bioreactor.
Mr Ogg also benefited from another cutting-edge technology known as Biodegradable Temporising Matrix (BTM), also developed in Adelaide.
“BTM works by not only ‘holding’ the burn wounds in a healthy condition, but improving them, for the five weeks it takes to grow CCS and was pivotal in the early survival and progress of the healing of Glenn’s wounds.”
Dr Greenwood noted that in many similar cases patients do not survive, and when they do they usually depend on a ventilator for months, often experiencing severe kidney failure from tissue injuries.
In a comparable case reported in the UK, a patient spent more than 40 days in the ICU and left hospital after a year still unable to walk.
But thanks to Dr Greenwood, just nine days after the accident Mr Ogg was out of ICU and off the ventilator with normal kidney function. He walked 28 days after the fire and has made a remarkable recovery in less than six months.
Dr Greenwood made special mention of Burra Hospital, Medstar Retrieval Service, the RAH’s emergency department, intensive care unit and burns unit teams that helped see Mr Ogg out of ICU.
“Every aspect of how these two technologies work together has seen Glenn not only survive but make a remarkable recovery in less than six months,” he said.
Born in Lancashire, Dr Greenwood first studied medicine at the University of Manchester in 1985. He specialised in chronic wounds management and in 2001 began working at the RAH as the Director of the Adult Burns Unit. In 2002 Dr Greenwood led the Burns Unit in Darwin, which treated 67 patients in the aftermath of the Bali terrorist bombing. He personally attended to 47 of the patients in a marathon 36-hour shift.
In 2008 he became an Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide’s School of Medicine.
“Professor Greenwood is an inspiration to all. His dedication to the advancement of science and technology is applaudable and so is his passion for saving and improving people’s lives,” says Greek Australian Professor, Dr Filippos Lisgos who has been working as a GP in Australia and Greece, and is currently a lecturer at the University of Adelaide’s Medical School.
“We, as fellow doctors and Australians, are very proud of Dr Greenwood’s achievements and his tremendous contribution towards the advancement of medical sciences.
“Not only is he a brilliant doctor, but Professor Greenwood is also an incredible human being who is here to remind us the importance of giving back to the world.”