Maggots Clean Wounds Faster Than Surgeons, but Results Not Better After 1 Week
Posted by Xeno on December 21, 2011
Medical use of maggots was approved in 2004 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, only a small minority of patients with unhealing wounds receive the treatment, said Dr. Robert Kirsner, a dermatologist at the University of Miami School of Medicine, who was not involved in the new study.
The study included about 100 men with wounds on their lower limbs. About half received maggot therapy and half received surgical treatment. For the maggot therapy, sterile maggots were placed in a small pouch that was placed on top of the wound. The therapy was applied twice a week for two weeks.
Neither the patients nor the doctor evaluating the wounds knew which therapy a patient received (patients wore a blindfold when their bandages were changed.)
After eight days, the percentage of dead tissue in the wounds of patients who received the maggot therapy was 54.5 percent, compared with 66.5 percent in patients who received surgery. But after 15 days and 30 days, the amount of dead tissue in the wounds was about the same for both groups.
The number of patients who reported feeling a crawling sensation in their wound, and the number reporting pain, was also about the same in both groups, according to the study, which was conducted by researchers at the University Hospital Center of Caen, in France.