I first heard of the Amalgatome® MD while attending an AATB conference. The tool appealed to me in a couple of ways. After speaking with Amber McAfee, I knew that we needed to give the tool a try. The difference between a traditional dermatome and the Amalgatome MD® were all the things we were struggling with. There is less force/strength needed to run the Amalgatome MD and as well as little to no traction required. This means technicians that do not have the upper body strength that can be required to get large skin yields with the dermatome have an advantage using the Amalgatome MD. Pulling the tool as opposed to pushing is a major advantage for those less experienced staff members as well. New staff have taken to acquiring larger than normal usable skin yields in a time frame much quicker than they would using the dermatome.
Our skin yields have doubled and we are averaging over 4 square foot per donor in our trial period. We were averaging less than 2 square feet per donor prior to the trial period with the Amalgatome. While not a magic bullet, it certainly has advantages over the traditional skin recovery tool. Using only 1 blade per donor also provides my staff with an element of safety. By not having to stop and change blades 3-4 time per donor means less handling of sharps. This also speeds up the case flow decreasing the amount of time per donor.
My experience with the team from Exsurco Medical has been nothing but good. The trainer has been available when questions come up and has made numerous trips our facility to travel with the team and provide training. On those cases the trainer has been able to transfer his skills and experience and leave my staff with the knowledge and ability to recover phenomenal grafts. I couldn't ask for a better experience.
Supervisor of Tissue Recovery
Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network