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Calcium alginate dressings promote healing of split skin graft donor sites.A prospective controlled trial was carried out to assess the healing efficacy of calcium alginate and paraffin gauze on split skin graft donor sites. Thirty patients were randomised to the calcium alginate group and 21 to the paraffin gauze group. The donor sites were assessed at 10 days post harvesting to determine if they were completely healed (100%) or not. Twenty one of the 30 patients dressed with calcium alginate were completely healed at day 10, while only 7/21 in the paraffin gauze group were healed (p < 0.05). There were two infections in the study, both occurring in the alginate group while there was no difference in dressing slippage between the two groups. Calcium alginate dressings provide a significant improvement in healing split skin graft donor sites.