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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Maggots Are Used To Eat Dead Tissue

Maggots Are Used To Eat Dead Tissue - Ambroise Pare, Maggot Debridement therapy, maggots for fishing bait---Maggot therapy (also known as maggot debridement therapy (MDT), larval therapy, larva therapy, larvae therapy, biodebridement or biosurgery) is a type of biotherapy involving the introduction of live, disinfected maggots (fly larvae) into the non-healing skin and soft tissue wound(s) of a human or animal for the purpose of cleaning out the necrotic tissue within a wound and disinfection.

It long was believed that the debridement is selective on necrotic tissue but new literature first questioned that belief. A recent clinical study in France proved non selectivity of maggot action as wound surface increased over treatment.

Tales and Early history

Written records have documented that maggots have been used since antiquity as a wound treatment. There are reports of the use of maggots for wound healing by Maya Native Americans and Aboriginal tribes in Australia. There also have been reports of the use of maggot treatment in Renaissance times.

Military physicians have observed that soldiers whose wounds had become colonized with maggots experienced significantly less morbidity and mortality than soldiers whose wounds had not become colonized. These physicians included Napoleon’s general surgeon, Baron Dominique Larrey. Larrey reported during France's Egyptian campaign in Syria, 1798–1801, that certain species of fly consumed only dead tissue and helped wounds to heal.

Dr. Joseph Jones, a ranking Confederate medical officer during the American Civil War, is quoted as follows, "I have frequently seen neglected wounds ... filled with maggots ... as far as my experience extends, these worms eat only dead tissues, and do not injure specifically the well parts." The first therapeutic use of maggots is credited to a second Confederate medical officer Dr. J.F. Zacharias, who reported during the American Civil War that, "Maggots ... in a single day would clean a wound much better than any agents we had at our command ... I am sure I saved many lives by their use." He recorded a high survival rate in patients he treated with maggots.

During World War I, Dr. William S. Baer, an orthopedic surgeon, recognized on the battlefield the efficacy of maggot colonization for healing wounds. He observed one soldier left for several days on the battlefield who had sustained compound fractures of the femur and large flesh wounds of the abdomen and scrotum. When the soldier arrived at the hospital, he had no signs of fever despite the serious nature of his injuries and his prolonged exposure to the elements without food or water.

When his clothes were removed, it was seen that "thousands and thousands of maggots filled the entire wounded area." To Dr. Baer's surprise, when these maggots were removed "there was practically no bare bone to be seen and the internal structure of the wounded bone as well as the surrounding parts was entirely covered with most beautiful pink tissue that one could imagine."

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