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HOW ABOUT NOW?
For hundreds of years, maggots have been recognized as a treatment for wounds. Since the time of Napoleon, physicians knew that maggot-infested wounds healed faster. During the Civil War, surgeons often left maggots in wounds, realizing that they actually did more than a doctor could ! Dr. Maggot, to the operating room!
Only in recent times do scientists know why. Maggots secrete enzymes which break down dead and decayed tissue, which they then eat. Ooh, Yuc Soup! Maggots will not attack or eat healthy tissue. Maggots consume the tissue, along with the bacteria which infects it. Scientists have even come up with a name for using insects to help heal a patient--Biosurgery.
Now, maggots are the larvae of flies, which are not really clean creatures! So, scientists are now raising "clean" flies, which produce "clean" larvae, which are actually sold to hospitals to use on patients. Only a few species of flies produce the right kind of maggots! Is there any such thing as the right kind of maggot?
They use the common greenbottle fly, Lucilia sericata, in a sterile environment, to produce the maggots. Hospitals can order about 1000 of these tiny nurses for $70.00 from Europe. What a deal!
Maggots on the eye of a needle. Copyright SMTL
There is a lot of MDT being done on patients with diabetes. They often have foot and leg sores that won't heal because of poor circulation. Sometimes, nothing seems to help. Antibiotics don't work. The limb may have to be amputated.
But, in hundreds of cases, patients have a bandage put on the wound with maggots under it. The maggots eat the decayed flesh and are removed after a day or two. By then, they're nice and plump! After a week or so of maggot treatment, most wounds begin to heal and replace dead tissue with healthy tissue.
Most of the MDT is being done in Europe. American hospitals are not using it much yet. It would be hard for a doctor to even ask a patient about Maggot Therapy!
You want to do WHAT to my foot??
Hey, whatever works.