Maggots! Maggots Maggots!!! Ewww ahhh ish....
But can you imagine that before advent of Life saving antibiotics these maggots had saved many lives and limbs!
Yes ! Exactly!
Maggots were used for treatment of sloughing wounds and deep seated infections.
Maggot therapy in olden days was a result of observation by army surgeons that the maggot infested wounds heal faster compared to non infested wounds.
William Baer was the first one to use Maggots in treatment of wounds and also showed that maggots can help the wound to heal faster.
This method became so popular that many hospitals developed their own insectaries to stock their own insect free maggots for treatment.
Many doctors were happy with this bio-debridement.
The problems faced that time were Difficulty in getting insect free maggots, Cost & Difficulty in constructing a dressing to house these maggots around the wound.
Slowly maggots disappeared from the scene with advent of “Life- Saving Antibiotics”
Because the Bacteria are becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics. Even before the drug reaches the stage of mass production resistant strains emerge. It is not uncommon for any Doctor to see reports carry these Dangerous terms – MRSA, ESBL, MBL, MDR strains, Pan – Drug Resistant Strains.
Literally we are running out of antibiotics. The small single celled invisible creatures are winning!
Maggot therapy is essentially a controlled therapeutic maggot infestation on a live host). It is controlled by selecting a safe strain and made germ free by using disinfectants. These maggots are introduced in special dressings that prevent them from leaving the wound.
Maggots are applied to the wound at a dose of 5–10 larvae per square centimetre of wound surface area and are left within their dressing for 48–72 h. The basic action comprises of Debridement, Disinfection, Stimulation of healing and Biofilm inhibition and eradication.
Medicinal maggots are like microsurgeons and are precise in their debridement. It is no wonder that they have found their way into the hearts and wounds of so many.
Despite our low cultural esteem for maggots, more and more clinicians and patients are turning to medicinal maggots for assistance with their wound healing. For most, the drawbacks of maggot therapy pale in comparison to the remarkable efficacy in treating even the most recalcitrant wounds.
Modern dressing materials have simplified the maggot therapy procedure and minimized the risk of escape. The establishment of laboratories throughout the world, along with access to overnight courier service in many regions, has made medicinal maggots readily available to millions of people.