posted on Aug, 21 2012 @ 07:06 PM
I’ve been reading a really interesting book
possibilities of human regeneration and the electrical system in the body when I came upon the most remarkable claim: apparently, small children are
able to regenerate severed fingertips, right down to the first distal knuckle, on their own.
This was discovered accidentally in the seventies when a child went to the hospital for a severed fingertip. The doctor treated the injured finger
for infection but, forgot to send the child along for surgery to seal up the end of the finger. What could have been a costly medical error turned out
to be a Godsend for that child; over the next month, the finger grew back, much in the same way as a salamander will regrow lost limbs.
However, by pure accident Cynthia Illingworth at the Sheffield Children's Hospital noticed that in some children the finger would grow back.
Just by doing nothing and letting the body heal itself, by 1974 Illingworth had documented hundreds of cases of regenerated fingers in children.
The criteria for this to happen are that just the tip of the finger be lost – the region from the fingernail down to the very first joint – and
that the child be under eleven years of age. If the finger is sliced below the first joint then regeneration does not take place. If the skin is
stitched back over the cut the finger will also not grow back. Also, the younger the child the quicker is the regrowth.
The finger belongs to a 8-year-old girl, showing complete regeneration of amputated finger tip. Finger print is missing, but in modern police
states that may be an extra chance to get a little privacy from the Big Brother.
This miraculous discovery was covered in Time Magazine in 1975
Medicine: The Regenerative Finger
When a child's fingertip is sliced off or smashed in a car door, most doctors sew up the wound or attempt to reconstruct the digit. But the best
treatment for such injuries may be none at all. Writing in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery, Dr. Cynthia Illingworth of the Children's Hospital in
Sheffield, England, reports that until the child is age eleven or so, a fingertip that is not damaged below the first joint will often regenerate
spontaneously if left alone.
So, you would think that leaving the severed fingertip alone to heal would be the normal course of treatment for such injuries but, medicine has
decided to go in another direction.
Fingertip Amputations In Young Children
Doctors treat fingertip amputations somewhat differently in children younger than 6 years of age. After thoroughly cleaning and preparing an amputated
fingertip, the surgeon may reattach it to the finger. The fingertip may continue to grow relatively normally, even if bone was exposed. This is
especially possible in children younger than 2 years of age.
Full recovery from a fingertip injury may take several months. After the injury heals, mild to severe pain and sensitivity to cold may continue for a
year or may even be permanent.
Children with Severed Fingers
Children are more likely to heal an amputated digit, and more likely to have good function of a replanted finger. Therefore, every effort is made to
reattached severed fingers, especially in young patients.
Results of Reattaching A Severed Finger
Modern surgical techniques have allowed doctors to reattach fingers with high rates of success. In fact, about 90% of reattached fingers are
successful--meaning the finger is viable. That's the good news. The bad news is that most reattached fingers have only about 50% of normal motion,
many have significant deficits of sensation, and many have difficulty with cold tolerance. Often that's better than not having the finger, but not
always. It's very important to only reattach fingers in appropriate situations, and not reattach the finger when a poor outcome is likely.
I can understand that the window of opportunity to reattach severed limbs is limited and that modern doctors feel they must rush to save the severed
fingers but, if allowing the fingertips of children to regrow on their own produces flawless healing with no complications, you would think it should
be the preferred method, rather than a medical oddity that has been ignored by the medical establishment for decades.
Some believe that human regeneration was too far-fetched for the medical establishment to swallow.
A small number of physicians took up this technique but further research was not funded. The term 'stem cell' is now in common use and this
regeneration is the amazing ability of cells to not only differentiate from being a stem cell to one specific type, such as bone or cartilage or
blood, but the ability for some cells to dedifferentiate from a specific type back into stem cells and then transform themselves into a different cell
type. In the 1970's this was considered heretical, but even today the non-invasive techniques pioneered by Becker have been left to rot.
Of course, it’s also possible the medical profession sees no profit in allowing the body to do all their work for them. They would rather that a
family pay big money for expensive microsurgery and have a partially functioning fingertip than allow nature to take its course which results in a
fully functional fingertip with no medical intervention other than protection against infection while the finger heals itself.