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Thread: The use of leaches and maggots in Medicine

  1. #1

    The use of leaches and maggots in Medicine

    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...NGCKECSOA1.DTL

    Looks like they are actually useful after all. Wonder if the Bush Administration will back this to get FDA approved. Sounds like something they might actually agree with.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tweetybird's Avatar
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    Both leaches and maggots are approved by the FDA as medical devices. It is amazing that things that occur in nature can be of such assistance to us. I know it is gross thinking of maggots but the do a fantastic job of cleaning out a wound. My mother and father (mother was nurse, father was doctor), told me of a child in Children's Hosptal in Boston who had a serious compound fracture that ended up getting infected. They cleaned it up and casted it. The child a few days later kept complaining of itching in her cast. Finally they removed the cast to find the maggots, as a fly had flown inside the cast and laid her eggs. They cleaned out this infected wound they had so much trouble clearing up. After they cleaned it up and removed the maggots they saw healthy tissue. The wound finally healed up wonderfully and she was very healthy after that.

  3. #3

    So

    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Leatherbee
    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...NGCKECSOA1.DTL

    Looks like they are actually useful after all. Wonder if the Bush Administration will back this to get FDA approved. Sounds like something they might actually agree with.
    And what this does to SCI!

  4. #4
    I saw this on Discovery.
    They have special leech farms.

    The leech is like a stick..then after he sucks you dry..he looks like he will pop.

    And you don't even feel them biting into you..but boy the blood rushes out at first after they let go.

    They didn't show the maggots working. But most likely will soon.

    They also had the other side of the coin..worms and larvae that can enter your body and cause total havoc..and kill you.

    Even with modern day treatments it can take years to rid your body of all the worms and get healthy again.
    Amazing stuff.

    These worms even get into your eyeballs and you can watch them moving under your skin and across your eyeball. Very weird. A real life monster story really.
    Life isn't about getting thru the storm but learning to dance in the rain.

  5. #5
    X-Files!
    Somebody suck this thread out of here!

  6. #6
    I think the question is whether or not they will be regulated further by the FDA, not whether they will be "approved". I have experiences similar to what Tweetybird described. At Bellevue Hospital, we took care of homeless people and many had diabete ulcers that were infested with maggots. They kept the wounds clean but they also can prevent healing the ulcers from healing. We can get rid of the maggots by spraying ether into the opening and the maggots will come out.

    When I was in Medical school at Stanford, I knew a professor there (John Nicholls) who spent a career studying the nervous system of leeches. He used to keep them fed by putting them on rubber gloves filled with blood. All the neurons in the leech were identified and named. He wrote a great book about the neurons of the leeches http://www.sinauer.com/detail.php?id=4391 and he was one fo the best teachers I have ever had.

    Wise.

  7. #7
    Dr. Wise,
    Are you enjoying a refreshing beverage?
    Life isn't about getting thru the storm but learning to dance in the rain.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hunker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drnader
    And what this does to SCI!
    look at #11 and you will see what it has to do with SCI.mag-neat-o =

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Hunker
    look at #11 and you will see what it has to do with SCI.mag-neat-o =
    Thanks Hunker.
    This answered all my questions about medicinal maggots.

    And they are grown in an insectary. (also known as a broken down refrigerator.)
    Totally hysterical the names we put on everything.
    Life isn't about getting thru the storm but learning to dance in the rain.

  10. #10
    Senior Member NorthQuad's Avatar
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    I would let leeches suck blood out of me if it meant saving a toe after frostbite or surgery anyday. I've had many stuck to me after a day of ATVing out in the bush. I never even noticed them until it was time to strip out of the muddy clothes and it didn't bother me at all. I'd rather a leech bite then a misqitoe bite.

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