It is true that leeches are an acceptable tool In medical practices. Leeches, a, parasitic segmented worm, can rid access blood from a certain area. Leeches are commonly used In skin grafts, taking skin from one part of the body to an area of damaged skin. While the skin Is freshly attached the unconnected veins cannot take blood away from the wound, so leeches can be used to keep the blood flowing.

A natural chemical the leeches produce, called hirudin. is used as a blood thinner and keeps the host’s, or patient’s, blood from clotting. Leeches also have a minor anesthetic that keeps the host from noticing its bite; leeches have hundreds of tiny teeth. Once they latch on they will suck more than twice their body weight of blood, and simply fall off. Doctors usually use shifts of leeches; three leeches until they fall off, then three more leeches, etc., etc.

The leeches used In medical practice are specially raised, and are very sanitary. They actually have little leech farms, which typically charge around $7.50 per leech. Doctors are also finding other ways to benefit from these parasites, A German study concluded that leech treatment on arthritic people, has had better results than a very popular medication.

I find it amazing that these slimy little worms can make such a difference m people lives. Up until now I’ve always thought leeches were only used by physicians in the dark ages, trying to rid the body of excess humors. When I had a leech on me, I wanted, nothing more than to get it as far as possible away from me and to never go swimming again! I note now that I love to swim and came to the conclusion that it was worth the chance.

People In Maine could really benefit from the practice of using leeches. On our icy roads we can get seriously Injured and need skin grafting; leeches would help in that situation. Also we could use them in cases of sever arthritis and tackle that problem, I feel that this could be a common practice all over the world in a decade or so.


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