Be a medical retro-pioneer.
March 21, 2005 6:48 AM   Subscribe

Be a medical retro-pioneer. Adopt a brood of maggots.
posted by bricoleur (21 comments total)
yummy (graphic) . the gladiator comes to mind.
posted by poopy at 7:02 AM on March 21, 2005

heh. "brood of maggots" - that may well be my catchphrase of the week.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:03 AM on March 21, 2005

Anyone see that episode of "Autopsy" on HBO where they used the maggots covering a dead woman's body to determine what drugs she injested to oversdose? They put em' in a blender and pureed them like a protein shake. Maggots are our friends..
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:06 AM on March 21, 2005

It must be the creepiest feeling to feel a brood of maggots on one's wounds... [shudder]
posted by clevershark at 7:08 AM on March 21, 2005

My father told me that in the seventies when he was a student of medicine he was once just about to "clean" a wound of maggots when an older nurse told him to stop because they were supposedly good for the patient. And my father was quite surprised to see it work - it wasn't in the textbooks back then.

It's good to see this kind of "natural medicine" come back.
posted by hoskala at 7:22 AM on March 21, 2005

If anyone needs any maggots let me know. I've got a dead squirrel in my garbage can out back.
posted by recurve at 7:24 AM on March 21, 2005

Maggots as food source:

Convertions into food
posted by rough ashlar at 7:31 AM on March 21, 2005

Old news. Maggots only eat necrotic flesh, leaving healthy tissue intact, fighting infection and potential gangrene incredibly effectively.

FYI, honey actually acts as a disinfectant, contains helpful vitamins and has been used on extreme burn victims, spiderwebs are good wound-dressing and promote healing, etc. That's a great book I linked to, written by an author who is a controversial researcher into AIDs as well.
posted by Shane at 8:00 AM on March 21, 2005

The burn unit at the hospital where I work started using maggots in the last year. For some reason, the pharmacy is responsible for ordering them. It seems like we have 4 or 5 patients getting maggot therapy at any given time. We sometimes order leeches for the burn unit too.
posted by mokujin at 8:28 AM on March 21, 2005

neat. but still shudder-inducing.
posted by blendor at 8:44 AM on March 21, 2005

If it makes you feel any better, the "slime" in the linked photo isn't from the maggots. Maggots are rather dry and it also doesn't feel too weird to have them crawling on you.
posted by artifarce at 9:40 AM on March 21, 2005

and to think that christians once thought that maggots were the devil's minions...turns out they're the babble-fish's surgeon cousin...
i <3 alternatives to antibiotics
posted by es_de_bah at 10:12 AM on March 21, 2005

One third of patients -- selected at random -- will be treated with loose maggots, held in place by a dressing; one third with maggots contained in a gauze bag; and one third with hydrogel, a standard wound-cleaning therapy.

Shouldn't they use a placebo as well, say a handful of cooked rice?

Thank-you...I'll be here all week.
posted by bachelor#3 at 10:13 AM on March 21, 2005

Yeah, the feeling-them-in-my-wound thing might be a bit much for me. I guess, though, that it I had some ulcerated flesh I might not mind...

Hey poopy, might have appreciated a NSFW label on that pic: it's a pee-pee. A really, really gross pee-pee.
posted by Specklet at 10:22 AM on March 21, 2005

That's a pee-pee? Then why does it have little black hairs all over it? And can maggots be that small?
posted by Bugbread at 10:36 AM on March 21, 2005

Ah...I just happened to run across the same image on a maggot therapy page: it's an amputation, not a pee-pee.
posted by Bugbread at 10:42 AM on March 21, 2005

Oh. I guess I just have a filthy (and I do mean filthy) mind.
posted by Specklet at 10:43 AM on March 21, 2005

The website for the International Biotherapy Society covers a wide array of new old treatments, documenting such things as Sniffer Dogs and our old friends the leeches.

Sniffer dogs?
posted by redsparkler at 11:08 AM on March 21, 2005

Hey! I really do want to adopt a brood of maggots! Maybe it's time to put all the meat that's freezer-rotting in my house into the backyard and get a brood of my own! Maybe they'll fix my skinned knees....
posted by elf_baby at 11:16 AM on March 21, 2005

My dad had maggots for the gangrene on his toes - twice! He said that he could feel them wriggling but got used to them after a while. I think him being a fisherman made it easier for him because he used to handle them all the time :) It should be noted that the maggots are raised in a sterile environment, and as mentioned before, have to be ordered in by the pharmacy. They certainly cleaned it all out tho so I'd recommend it. Hell even I'd consider it should the situation hopefully never arise!
posted by floanna at 1:29 AM on March 22, 2005

>It should be noted that the maggots are raised in a sterile environment,

The eggs are harvested from cheesecloth and 'washed' in disinfectant. The future maggot diet is 'pressure cooked' so it is sterile.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:58 PM on March 22, 2005

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