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Medicinal leeches are bloodsucking, aquatic cousins of the earthworm that hail from Europe. Doctors used leeches for bloodletting — thought to be good for whatever ailed patients — from Hippocrates' time through the mid-19th century. Leeches fell out of favor when doctors finally recognized that patients they bled fared no better, and often worse, than other patients.
It's often trickier to connect veins, which carry blood back to the heart, than arteries, which carry blood from the heart. So before grafted tissue gets new vein growth, it can become congested with blood. Sometimes surgery can fix the problem, but if it can't, the graft might fail.
Enter the leech. Not only does it suck out excess blood, but its saliva contains a powerful blood thinner. So even after it fills up and drops off, bleeding continues.
Originally posted by Crabmeat
Leeches are also cool looking.
It's hard to imagine that these ooky, squirmy creatures can heal wounds and even help save lives. Maggots, by definition, are fly larvae, just as caterpillars are butterfly or moth larvae. Maggots hatch from eggs laid by mature adult flies. The initial maggots, called first instars, molt (shed their skin) twice to become third instars in a span of about five days. The maggots then look for a dry place to pupate and undergo metamorphosis to adult flies after another week. Only initial maggots (first or second instars) are used to help clean wounds.
The process by which maggots infest humans or other vertebrates is called myiasis. Inducing this process in a controlled clinical environment acts to help the wound in several ways. Maggots debride, or clean, wounds by dissolving dead, infected tissue; they also kill bacteria in the wound and therefore have a disinfectant effect; and they stimulate wound healing.
In Japan you can pay to get flesh eating fish--ok, perhaps I'm exaggerating, let's say "skin eating"-- to chew off your flaky and dry skin caused by psoriasis outbreaks, eczema, or calluses.
Actually, this fish-based skin treatment called Garra rufa therapy, is not a new trend. Hot springs in Turkey and Germany have offered this psoriasis treatment for ages. Basically, all it requires is for you to step into a hot pool teaming with the fish. They come up to you and start nibbling away the flaking skin.
The tiny Garra rufa fish is none other than your simple carp, that thrive in hot pools, and gets starved of their routine foods like algae. The flaky skin thus becomes a tasty morsel.
Originally posted by asmeone2
Why do you kill them?
Is it like re-using a needle to use a leech twice?
COuld you at least use it more than once in the same patient?
Originally posted by asmeone2
Interesting Fred T. I would have thought that they would have had some kind of antibiotic in their system that would neutralize any diseases they take int, since that's how they stay alive.