Therapeutic treatment using maggots, leeches, and worms

Innovative. Groundbreaking. Revolutionary. When used in the medical field, these words normally describe technological discoveries or scientific developments that help restitute medical intervention and salvage lives. However, these words are one time once more being connected with ancient natural redresss that many people would non anticipate. These “ common people ” redresss were accepted as standard medical process for centuries until progresss in scientific discipline replaced them. Curative intervention utilizing maggots, bloodsuckers, and worms has been late found to an highly efficient agencies of handling many medical jobs. However, despite their effectivity in handling certain complaints, deep-seated cultural feelings of repulsive force towards insect detract from its possible success.

The usage of bloodsuckers in medical pattern day of the months back to the Ancient Egyptians and their belief in bloodletting to relieve hurting from concerns, haemorrhoids, Bright’s disease, laryngitis, oculus upsets and assist handle mental unwellness and fleshiness. The Ancient Greeks besides exercised bloodletting in order to keep the humoral theory. The humoral theory in kernel maintains that the human organic structure is composed of blood, emotionlessness, black gall, and xanthous gall, and when wholly healthy, these elements are in balance with each other in a individual ‘s organic structure. In instances of inordinate instability ( illness ) , physicians would use bloodsuckers in order to run out the organic structure of the extra component and reconstruct the organic structure to equilibrium and therefore full wellness ( El Awaday ) . Michele Root-Bernstein, an writer of Honey, Mud, Maggots, and Other Medical Marvels, believes that although wide in its application and frequently referred to as “ the acetylsalicylic acid of that age, ” leech therapy was an efficient redress for relevant complaints.

There is grounds that suggests that the usage of maggots as a redress was foremost conducted by the ancient Mayans. Observations made after intense warfare concluded that badly septic lesions healed at a much faster gait when maggots entered the lesions than with other signifiers of unction at that clip. It was accepted by the Mayans that a particular secernment which maggots produced when feeding on lesions helped extinguish dead tissue and advance the growing of new, healthy tissue, which was in fact true ( Root-Bernstein ) . This observation was reaffirmed during the Civil War by Confederate medical officer Joseph Jones in the statement, “ I have often seen neglected lesions… filled with maggots… every bit far as my experience extends, these worms merely destroy dead tissues, and do non wound specifically the well parts. I have heard sawboness affirm that a mortified lesion which has been exhaustively cleansed by maggots heals more quickly than if it had been left to itself ” ( Sherman ) . At the clip, the idea of utilizing maggots as a signifier of intervention must hold astounded doctors and had to hold been seen as a medical miracle because there was n’t any research in support of its benefits. Even today, with all the statistical research in its defence, many physicians refuse to accept its medical aptitude.

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Due to medical promotion in the signifier of antibiotics and medical devices, the usage of bloodsuckers and maggots diminished drastically during the twentieth century ; nevertheless, there has been a recent motion towards their increased execution in modern medical specialty as evidenced by the undermentioned sentiment, “ we ‘re relearning that nature ‘s medical specialties frequently called ‘gross ” are sometimes the best ” ( Weinstock ) . Maggots are chiefly used to handle assorted types of leg ulcers, station operative lesions, and assorted traumatic lesions ( Jones ) . The particular types of maggots used in patient intervention, which are bred entirely to eat dead tissue merely, are derived from unfertile greenbottle blowfly larvae. They have three distinguishable maps: debridement, disinfection, and recovery ( Picollo ) . Basically, maggots are placed in the septic country where they produce a chemical enzyme which turns the dead cells into a digestible liquid and promotes tissue decomposition. The maggots are specifically bred to merely eat until the dead cells no longer stay, and so they are removed from the lesion once the process is over and discarded by the doctor ( Gross Medicine ) . Recent consequences reveal that healthy tissue growing is seen within three hebdomads after the process and it is estimated that maggots salve 40 % – 50 % of limbs that would hold been otherwise amputated ( Collier ) . After three months, 65 % of the patient lesions had healed wholly ; 19 % of the patients required amputation after the surgery, but the degree of amputation required was reduced significantly from outlooks before the therapy ( Steenvorde ) .

Leechs, as Anna Baldwin, technician at the Biopharm Leech Center in South Carolina, describes are a “ mini-drugstore ” ( Picollo ) . Soon bloodsuckers are used most normally on patients who have had rehabilitative surgery every bit good as tegument flaps in order to take pools of engorged blood that interfere with circulation and can do deficiency of O to weave station surgery. The effectivity of the bloodsucker is due to the little hemorrhage scratch it makes that allows blood to go around throughout the engorged country. When a bloodsucker bites the host, it releases a local anaesthetic every bit good as an anti-clotting emanation ( hirudin ) and vasodilative ( antibiotic ) which help advance recovery. The leech AIDSs in the recirculation of the blood until it consumes approximately five times its weight and so detaches itself in order to digest the contents of its tummy. The increased circulation of the blood continues for an extra 12 to fifteen hours after the initial leach concludes its responsibility due to the anti-clotting agent that is released in the patient ‘s blood watercourse ( Gross Medicine ) .

The usage of patristic worms in medical specialty has risen due to the increased sum of GI related diseases. Patients sing these jobs are prescribed microscopic hog worm eggs, which must be taken in concurrence with liquid interventions. These worms are comparatively safe because they merely survive in the bowel for eight hebdomads and do non do illness. The eggs are undetectable to the naked oculus since they are smaller than a grain of sand and grow in the bowel to the half an inch long and thinner than a human hair ( Rubin ) . As reported by the American Journal of Gastroenterology, consequences refering to the intervention ‘s effectivity revealed that out of the seven patients enduring from Crohn ‘s disease and ulcerative inflammatory bowel disease, six achieved remittal and one improved dramatically ( Picollo ) .

In malice of the amazing information back uping the admirations of these natural redresss, people frequently resort to these interventions as a last resort and frequently times it may be excessively late to do a profound impact on the complaint. It is rather put offing to believe that some patients are excessively afraid or obstinate to see the intervention and would instead put on the line losing limbs than to be a portion of this redress.

The hold in the accepting this signifier of therapy is attributed to the manner in which these agencies of mending are portrayed in society. In films and telecasting, maggots are depicted feeding off beings that are dead as evidenced by plans such as CSI. One peculiar experience was profoundly ingrained into my memory refering this type of imagination. When seeing the film Gladiator at Chicago Ridge Theater, I remember the crowd jointly falling back in the reclining seats and violently yanking their caputs in disgust off from the film screen when Russell Crowe ‘s conflict lesion was treated with maggots ( MacDonald ) . Certain telecasting shows such Survivor and Fear Factor capitalise on the “ yuck factor ” by offering awards for contestants who eat bugs. An episode that made me peculiarly nauseating involved the feeding of unrecorded spiders for the opportunity of progressing in the competition in hope of winning $ 50,000. After a adult female ‘s first effort at crunching on the arachnoid failed, she was enticed by her contestants and the show ‘s host to seek one time once more. On the 2nd attempt, the spider wriggled in her custodies in an effort to flight. She brought it closer to her oral cavity and reluctantly willed her jaw to shut on the incapacitated spider. Although already largely chewed in the contestant ‘s oral cavity, the spider continued to madly agitate its legs in its concluding seconds of life motivating me to alter the channel ( Youtube ) . Knowing that the spider in add-on to maggots, worms, and bloodsuckers dwells among grass, clay, brook, and other foul elements, is likely the first influence on the repulsion.

In mundane life, interaction between human and maggots normally occurs in disease genteelness state of affairss affecting refuse tins or rotten nutrient. In some utmost instances, even physicians and nurses sometime refuse to offer these types of intervention because of their personal feelings of disgust towards the application of the intervention ( Collier ) . Furthermore, physicians had worried that implementing what is considered by the populace a “ crude ” medical specialty would convey about the position that the infirmary is out-dated and unsanitary ( Rubin ) . Therefore, it is non hard to understand why people would be weary of this type of intervention if physicians and nurses do non even believe in the effectivity of this signifier of intervention. In order to change by reversal this type of negative thought, an accent must be put on the benefits as compared to the hurts so that they become more comfy in offering these types of therapy.

On the other manus, certain premises are non accurate sing these therapies. For illustration, it is accepted that maggot, bloodsucker, and writhe intervention inflict hurting on the patient ; nevertheless, that is non true because each is shown to bring down minimum hurting as evidenced by a survey conducted by Professor Sherman in which a study was conducted among 21 patients who had had maggot therapy and it was determined that hurting did non do any patient to stop intervention ( Sherman ) . In fact, many patients report that the most discomforting feeling of the process is the unpleasant reactions of household, friends, colleagues, etc ( Steenvorde ) . In a similar mode, when stating classmate the subject of my paper, many frequently winced at the simple reference of the words maggots, worms, and bloodsuckers. They zeroed in on those peculiar words and failed to hear what the thesis of my paper when I tried to explicate it. It became a small defeated to continually reiterate myself ; nevertheless, it decidedly showed that subconscious repulsion towards these bugs can frequently puddle thought procedures. Therefore, it is non surprising that many patients refuse to ab initio entertain the idea of these interventions when measuring intervention options.

The cultural image of maggots, bloodsuckers, and worms as the wholly opposite image of sanitation hinders the acknowledgment of these bugs as a superior medical intervention. Although accepted approved by the FDA, the construct that maggot, bloodsucker and worm therapy are disused modes, and the anxiousness of holding unrecorded insects rolling within the organic structure, have prevented some health care suppliers and patients from profiting from these types of medical processs. Credence of these therapies will merely go world with the publication of well-designed clinical test, the instructions of medical practicians, and most significantly the instruction of the populace. Hopefully through these actions, the curative benefits of these critters will be acknowledged and remain applied instead than be abandoned every bit readily as they were at the beginning of the 21st century.

Plants Cited

Collier, Roger. “ Medicinal Maggots Cross Border at a Crawl. ” Canadian Medical Association Journal 182 ( 2009 ) : E123-124. Print.

El-Awady, Aisha. “ Maggots and Leeches Make a Comeback. ” Science in Africa. Merck, July & A ; Aug. 2003. Web. 25 Feb. 2010. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ; .

MacDonald, L. ( Producer ) , & A ; Scott, R. ( Director ) . ( 2000 ) . Gladiator

[ Motion image ] . United States: Dreamworks & A ; Universal

Pictures. ”

Gross medical specialty: 100s of old ages ago, maggots and bloodsuckers were “ medicine cabinet ” basics. Now, old is new once more: ready to seek them? “ . Science World. 18 Mar, 2010. hypertext transfer protocol: //

Piccolo, Cynthia M. “ Creepy-Crawly Therapies – Medhunters. ” MedHunters – Nursing and Healthcare Jobs. Web. 19 Mar. 2010. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ; .

Root-Bernstein, Robert Scott. , and Michele Root-Bernstein. Honey, Mud, Maggots, and Other Medical Wonders: the Science behind Folk Remedies and Old Wives ‘ Tales. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. Print.

Rubin, Rita. “ – Maggots and Leechs: Good Medicine. ” News, Travel, Weather, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, U.S. & A ; World – Web. 18 Mar. 2010. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ; .

Sherman, R. A. , M. J. R. Hall, and S. Thomas. “ Medicative Maggots: An Ancient Remedy for Some Contemporary Afflictions. ” Annual Review of Entomology 45.1 ( 2000 ) : 55. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 18 Mar. 2010.

Steenvoorde, Pascal. “ Maggot Therapy and the “ yuk ” Factor: an Issue for the Patient? ” Wound Repair and Regeneration 13.3 ( 2005 ) : 350-52. Print.

Weinstock, Maia, and Mark Bregman. “ Gross Medicine. ” Science World 19 Oct. 1998. Print.

“ YouTube – Fear Factor-spider Eating. ” YouTube – Broadcast Yourself. Web. 19 Mar. 2010. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // v=_EZ_vI7cWAI & gt ; .


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