Lauric acid, found predominately in coconut oil, may be a powerful tool in the prevention of infection and promote wound regeneration in severe burn patients, according to a recent study. Along with research that has previously shown the effectiveness of the use of lauric acid in combatting barrier-disrupting issues, the future for the use of saturated fatty acid in inhibiting infectious Gram-positive microbial bacteria and in skin barrier restoration is promising. A mere thirty years ago patients who had sustained burns over 50% of their body were given little to no hope of survival, a history which stands in stark contrast to the current status where people who have sustained burns covering even ninety percent of their bodies are now capable of recovery, albeit often with serious disabilities.  The increase in survival rates is directly related to the advances made in specialized burn care by the medical community, with better fluid resuscitation, nutritional support, pulmonary care, wound care and infection control playing critical roles. Still, in patients whose burns cover over 40% of the entire body, approximately seventy-five percent of deaths are largely attributable to sepsis from infected wounds or complications derived from infection.  Because the damaged tissue, which in its healthy state would act as a protective barrier, is seriously compromised in burn victims, topical antibiotics are necessary in keeping the moist wounds from becoming hotbeds of infection. The increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains is creating a necessity for researchers to identify substances that are both antibacterial and regenerative. Lauric acid, with its anti-viral and anti-microbial properties, is one such substance that researchers are hopeful may fit the above criteria perfectly.

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