Woman has her foot treated using maggot therapy with amazing results.
Maggots have been known for centuries to help heal wounds. Military surgeons noted that soldiers whose wounds became infested with maggots had better outcomes than those not infested. William Baer, while at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, may have been the first in the Northern Hemisphere to have intentionally applied larvae to wounds in order to induce wound healing. During the late 1920's, he identified specific species, raised them in the laboratory, and used their larvae to treat several children with osteomyelitis and soft tissue infections. He presented his findings at a surgical conference in 1929. Two years later, after treating 98 children, his findings were published posthumously.
MDT was successfully and routinely performed by thousands of physicians throughout the 1930’s, but soon it was supplanted by the new antibiotics and surgical techniques that came out of World War II. Maggot therapy was occasionally used during the 1970's and 1980's, but only when antibiotics, surgery, and modern wound care failed to control the advancing wound.
The first modern clinical studies of maggot therapy were initiated in 1989, at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Long Beach, CA, and at the University of California, Irvine, to answer the following questions:
1. "Is maggot therapy still useful today?"
2. "Should maggot therapy be used as an adjunct to other treatments, not merely as a last resort?"
3. "How does maggot therapy compare to other treatments at our disposal?"
The results of those controlled comparative clinical trials and the many studies and reports that followed, indicate that MDT is still useful today as a safe and effective treatment tool for some types of wounds. Those studies also demonstrated that there is no reason to withhold MDT until all other modalities have been exhausted, nor use it only as a “last resort.” Indeed, while published accounts of “pre-amputation MDT” show a limb salvage rate of over 40%, the success of MDT when used earlier in the course of treatment (say, as a 2nd or 3rd or 4th line treatment) is even more dramatic.
Current status of maggot therapy
In 1995, a handful of doctors in 4 countries were using MDT. Today, any physician in the U.S. can prescribe maggot therapy. Over 4,000 therapists are using maggot therapy in 20 countries. Approximately 50,000 treatments were applied to wounds in the year 2006.
In January 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began regulating medicinal maggots, and allowed the production and marketing of one particular strain of Phaenicia sericata larvae marketed under the brand name Medical Maggots (TM). In February, 2004, the British National Health Service (NHS) permitted its doctors to prescribe maggot therapy. Patients no longer have to be referred to one of a few regional wound-specialty hospitals to get maggot treatments.
The BioTherapeutics, Education & Research Foundation was established in 2003 for the purpose of supporting patient care, education, and research in maggot therapy and the other forms of symbiotic medicine (diagnosing and/or treating diseases with live animals, such as maggot therapy, leech therapy, honey bee therapy, pet therapy & sniffer dogs, ichthiotherapy, bacteriotherapy etc).
Tags: MDT, maggot therapy, wounds, healing, treatment, FDA, medicinal maggots, Phaenicia sericata larvae. BioTherapeutics, symbiotic medicine, leech therapy, honey bee therapy
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