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Interesting Things About Maggot Therapy - Health - Nairaland

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Interesting Things About Maggot Therapy by Iyaniwura123: 9:09pm On Apr 02, 2013
NB: Viewer Discretion Strongly Advised. If you are allergic to these squirmy little creatures, worms and all those slimy stuff or you may vomit your meal watching the videos or seeing the pictures, kindly SKIP this post. Thank you.

SEE HERE FOR MORE PICTURES: http://iyaniwura.com/interesting-things-about-maggot-therapy/

1- It was back in the year 1798, soldiers of Napoleon Bonaparte, the self-crowned Emperor of France, on a bloody campaign in Syria suffered ghastly wounds. Morbidity increased and so did mortality. Astonishingly, the military physicians made an interesting observation: soldiers with maggots in their festering wounds did not only survive, their wounds also healed faster while their comrades died off. Fast forward to the First World War, Dr.William Baer, an orthopaedic surgeon talks of a soldier who sustained compound fractures of the femur (thigh bone) and large flesh wounds of the abdomen and scrotum. He was abandoned on the battlefield for several days. Upon getting to the hospital, there were no signs of fever despite the seriousness of his injuries and the long exposure to the raw weather 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." This case took place at a time when the death rate for compound fractures of the femur was about 75–80%.

2- Maggot therapy has been around for centuries. Records show that the native Maya Indians of Latin America and the Aborigines of Australia have been using it since antiquity. But it has taken a long time for doctors and patients to accept maggot therapy as a standard method of treatment. Surprisingly, recent studies show that even though doctors and patients alike may find it distasteful, the 'ewww' does not stop patients from accepting maggot therapy.

3- Maggots are used mainly to clean up dead flesh (they eat up the dead flesh (and leave healthy ones intact unless they are applied too early, left for too long or when too many are used), and that explains why flies lay their eggs on carrion which provide nourishment for the tiny maggots). Their precision has been likened to that of a highly-skilled microsurgeon or the most committed wound care nurse. Their debridement can even be more precise than what obtains in normal surgical operations. But please note that there is no proof yet that maggots can serve as bacterial disinfectants and do not cause the wound healing process directly but their debriding hastens up the entire process. Across the globe, more doctors are using idun and that's the future of wound therapy. Some scientists are already thinking of identifying and isolating the most active components from the maggots and packaging the derivatives as drugs (hmmm, I smell money and profits again!).

4- Maggots clean up wounds faster (can take just 48 hours) and better than the strongest of antibiotics and the ones used in hospitals are specially groomed and sterilized, so they pose no threat or danger whatsoever to the patient. I am quite curious to know the degree of their usage in Nigerian hospitals and medical centers. This is even more important nowadays when some bacteria are becoming more stubborn than Eran Iya Oshogbo, developing resistance to the most powerful antibiotics.

5- Although the efficacy of maggot therapy is in no doubt, many patients still do 'Ewww', 'Gross' and make other funny exclamations when you tell them maggots will be placed inside their gaping wounds. Many grudgingly accept the slimy pals in them so as to stem off amputation or spread of infection throughout the body.

6- Maggots work primarily by releasing their digestive enzymes into the wounds, liquefying and dissolving the dead tissue and other debris, and absorb the semi-liquid, making cleaning easy and smoother. The larvae are not mature, and cannot multiply in the wound, they can only get bigger.

7- Patients suffering from diabetes with wounds (foot ulcers especially, and please note that not all wounds can be treated with this therapy, make you no go put maggots for inside OPC bullet wound talk sey na Iyaniwura tell you that one na....lmao!) are prime candidates for maggot therapy, and has saved many from limb amputations. In addition to this, maggot therapy has been found to be very useful in the treatment of one of the most dangerous diseases in the world: necrotizing fasciitis (popularly known by its misnomers: flesh-eating disease or flesh-eating bacteria syndrome) (SEE PICTURES). Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare but highly toxic infection of the deeper layers of the skin by bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, of which there is a methicillin-resistant strain (MRSA). Risk factors for MRSA infection include intravenous drug abuse, diabetes, smoking, alcoholism, weakened immune system (HIV, cancer, organ transplants or severe asthmatics). If untreated, necrotizing fasciitis can kill up to 73% of patients infected. Other diseases or conditions in which maggot therapy is employed include post-surgical wounds, neuropathic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, non-healing necrotic skin and soft tissue wounds.

8- In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which is an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services has outlined the uses and applications of maggot therapy. It also regulates medicinal maggots as 'prescription-only, single-use medical device'. In Europe, Canada and Japan, they are regulated as a drug. Any doctor in the US can prescribe maggot therapy (yes, in the US, you need a prescription for maggot therapy). After getting the prescription, you can place the maggots yourself and change the dressings. I am not too sure what the provisions of NAFDAC are on maggot therapy.

9- In the US, patients who do not have health insurance and find it difficult or impossible to pay for medicinal maggots and other medicinal animals are assisted with their payments by the California-based BioTherapeutics Education & Research (BTER).

10- In April 2012, dermatologists at two hospital referral centers in Caen and Lyon in France carried out a study which showed that maggots clean up wound faster than the conventional treatments, especially in the first week. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology (JAMA Dermatology). See references.

11- Even though maggots can be applied to mean the larvae of cheeseflies, houseflies, mosquitoes and crane flies, the one we are making reference to here is that of the green bottle fly (Lucilia genus). It is important that maggots of the correct specie be used so as to prevent what is called pathological myiasis in which the body of a living human being or another vertebrate is infested by a larvae. This can lead to a host of symptoms such as severe irritation, oedema, pain, ulcers and fever. In some cases, larvae can enter the brain tissue via the middle ear, there can be smelly discharge and even death in some cases. But you know the good thing? Myiasis is extremely rare, but get the gist: the larvae of the correct fly has to be used.

12- Maggot therapy is relatively cheaper and a lot more cost-effective than other conventional methods of wound treatment (at least no one owns the patent for houseflies na...lol!) It has been calculated that the use of maggot therapy for debridement of just 30% of patients with non-healing diabetic ulcers could save the country £50 million annually. Nigerian government can also save money this way too! Plug the holes and stop the freaking waste, you professors of profligacy!

13- Side effect(s): pain is generally reported after the first 24 hours as the maggots grow bigger, and analgesics are used to subside this. If it does not work, the dressings are removed, maggots are released and the pain stops instantly. The tickling sensation of the maggots (if I hear you say inyanma! LOL!) is minimized with the design of the dressings.

14- There is a lot less scaring and better healing with maggot therapy than with some other forms of wound debridment or treatment.

15- As at 2008, this form of therapy was being used in about 1,000 health centers in Europe and in more than 300 medical centers in the United States. Nigeria nko? Oro pesi je. Many of these hospitals have their own insectaries where they breed the maggots and for those who do not have, they order Surgical MaggotsTM (na serious business o!) from Pfizer, the world's largest pharmaceutical company by revenues (I sha never forget the nonsense Pfizer did in Kano).

16- Maggot therapy is a subdivision of an area of medical knowledge referred to as BIOTHERAPY which has been defined as the use of biological materials or live animals to aid in the diagnosis or treatment of a particular illness. Apart from maggot debridement therapy (also called biosurgery, larval therapy or biodebridement which we have talked about above), other forms of biotherapy include wound therapy with leeches (hirudotherapy), use of service animals such as guide dogs ( or for canine olfactory detection), bee venom therapy (part of apitherapy), medicinal roundworms (helminthic therapy) and ichthyotherapy (fish medicine).

Well, if you can stand it, here are short videos showing maggot therapy. They are quite educative:
-http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6Xt6NWkgydM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYhQ1Nrpw_s&feature=endscreen&NR=1
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdhRBATtn4Y

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME!
IYANIWURA

Re: Interesting Things About Maggot Therapy by dominique(f): 10:05pm On Apr 02, 2013
Gross but true. I've watched a documentary to that effect. The homeless man's leg was almost covered with sores and the docs covered the leg with maggots from knee to foot shocked (my skin is crawling remembering that horrid sight) by the time they were removed, the sores were completely gone. Thank you iyaniwura for making me remember that disturbing image now my skin is crawling all over again embarassed

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Re: Interesting Things About Maggot Therapy by Iyaniwura123: 10:12pm On Apr 02, 2013
Awwww wink
dominique: Gross but true. I've watched a documentary to that effect. The homeless man's leg was almost covered with sores and the docs covered the leg with maggots from knee to foot shocked (my skin is crawling remembering that horrid sight) by the time they were removed, the sores were completely gone. Thank you iyaniwura for making me remember that disturbing image now my skin is crawling all over again embarassed
Re: Interesting Things About Maggot Therapy by Caracta(f): 11:26pm On Apr 02, 2013
Uhmm...nice. Maggots or noodles I bet maggots can heal broken hearts too sad. Wonderful!
Re: Interesting Things About Maggot Therapy by Nmeri17: 4:00am On Aug 08, 2013
My God shocked shocked shocked

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