Introduction to Leech and Maggot therapy

There was a time when leeches and maggots were the state-of-the-art treatments. Antibiotics and modern surgical techniques displaced these traditional treatments for a time. Remarkably, just as the limitations of today's technology become apparent, the old ways are being discovered anew.

The problem with these therapies is that, leeches are worms, and maggots LOOK LIKE worms (although they're larvae). While people accept almost any medical treatment that might benefit them, "crawly things" take some getting used to. It's important for health care staff, especially nurses, to remember that the attitude and confidence that nurses present to their patients will greatly influence the patient's acceptance. A straightforward approach is the best. Anyone who applies leeches or maggots needs to be knowledgeable and prepared to explain every step in the procedure, as well as the benefits and side effects. Most patients - and nursing staff - are receptive to treatment with leeches and maggots, once they understand the rationale and necessity.

This course begins with an in-depth discussion of leech therapy, followed by maggot therapy.

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Leeches and maggots are making a comeback as treatment in medicine.

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