Can Maggots Be Used To Help Heal Your Wounds?
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Can Maggots Be Used To Help Heal Your Wounds?

Maggot therapy and it's uses

Can Maggots Be Used To Help Heal Your Wounds?

When someone says the word "maggot", they immediately want to say "ew". However, maggots might help you some day. Maggots are considered the world's carcass patrol. They help decompose dead and rotting carcasses by eating the dead and decaying flesh. This can actually be to our advantage. Not only can they eat the dead animals that are giving off that foul odor, they can also help treat serious wounds, accelerating the healing process by a significant amount. You want to know what I'm talking about? Here's how they do it.

Maggot usage in wounds date back to the Napoleonic War. Doctors observed maggots in open woulds could do way more good than harm. Now, don't go find a dead animal and throw the maggots inside a wound of yours. Back then the maggots used in wounds weren't sterile (the ones in dead animals aren't either), so they were carrying around bacteria that could cause infection. Nowadays however, this was easily solved by simply raising maggots in a sterile environment. That was one problem easily fixed through some thought on the matter. Another problem was that back then, they didn't know how many maggots to put in the wound either. The FDA actually considers maggots prescription only, so you have to go through a doctor to get them. That's right, the FDA even considers the maggot's potential in modern medicine.

A question you, the reader, might be having right now is "How do maggots HELP me!? They are disgusting!" Well yes, maggots found in the wild are pretty gross, but the sterile, prescribed ones you can get are not gross.As for how they help, maggots actually have this whole "eating flesh" thing figured out. The best maggots to use in your wound is the common green bottle fly maggots. They have been found to be the best at helping to heal wounds. So, let's say you go to the doctor because you have this open wound on your leg that just won''t heal. The doctor might prescribe maggot therapy. He will order the maggots and once they arrive, put them inside that pesky wound of yours. Once inside, the doctor wraps up the wound tight so the maggots don't go crawling off. After a couple days, the doctor will take off the bandage and put new maggots in the wound. This happens a few times. While the maggots are inside your wound, the maggots excrete an enzyme that makes the flesh more digestible for the maggots. Then they eat it. Maggots living in your wound helps promote the movement of oxygen in the wound and tissue growth.

Maggot usage is not only god in normal chronic wounds, they also help with diabetics with wounds that will not heal. According to Ronald Sherman, M.D, "Diabetic foot ulcers alone are so common (affecting approximately 15 percent of the diabetes patient population) that they account for over 1.5 million foot ulcers and at least 70,000 amputations annually....In 1990 controlled clinical studies of maggot therapy began in earnest. Markevich and colleagues randomized 140 patients with nonhealing diabetic neuropathic foot wounds to receive either conventional treatment with debridement and hydrogel or maggot therapy and then followed subjects for 10 days. By day 10 nearly twice as many maggot-treated wounds were debrided and covered with healthy granulation tissue...Consistently, studies have also demonstrated the efficacy of MDT (maggot debridement therapy) for limb salvage when used as a 'last resort.' Pre-amputation maggot therapy is reported to save 40–50 percent of limbs, usually with complete wound healing". This is a staggering number. According to this, and many other more modern studies, maggot therapy actually surpasses what we use to traditionally treat ulcers and other chronic wounds. Doctors now have one last thing to try on diabetics before having to resort to amputation of limbs, and that is god news for a lot of people!

There are very few downsides to maggot therapy. They will be living in your wound temporarily, so you will feel the squirming around. That can freak a lot of people out, but if it is your last chance at saving your foot, I'm sure it's a price worth paying. There also might be slight pain, as they are eating your dead flesh. But it is nothing severe.

In conclusion, maggot thereapy might be what the medicinal community needs in order to combat diabetic ulcers and other chronic wounds. These little guys not only do us a favor by cleaning up the Earth, they also can clean up our wounds. Someday, medicinal maggot therapy might not be seen as a last resort, but as common practice for ulcers. They sure do a good job at it, after all.

P.S. - Don't Google Image maggot therapy. I have warned you.

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I would like to thank Stuff You Should Know for the inspiration and some of the info i needed to write this article.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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