Wounds that won’t heal easily can be helped along by a good surgeon with a scalpel but a new study found that using maggots might be a better option for cleaning large wounds, specifically those found in diabetics.
In order to heal such wounds doctors typically remove infected or dead tissue using enzymes and scalpels, a process known as debridement, however that process does not always work and can be expensive and time consuming.
The study found that maggots not only help heal a wound but potentially provide antibactieral and healing benefits by keeping the wound clean.
The study specifically focused on patients with venous ulcers in their legs. Patients were randomly assigned to a two-week hospital stay where they were provided with debridement or maggot therapies. Each group member was then blindfolded so they wouldn’t know which treatment they were receiving.
According to researchers after a one week period two-thirds of the wound area in surgery patients was covered in dead tissue while just 55 percent of the wound area in maggot treated wounds showed dead skin, however after two weeks the surgery advantage vanished and there was no difference observed in wound closure.
As Nicky Cullum, a professor of nursing at the University of Manchester in the UK told Reuters:
“If clinicians and patients are primarily aiming to get wounds healed, maggots seem to offer no benefit and therefore are not a good option.”
However when it comes to cleaning wounds she added:
“Exactly as our previous study (did), it shows that maggots clean wounds more quickly than conventional treatment but with no benefit on healing.”
While Maggots have been made available for medical use in the U.S. since 2004 their actual use varies by location.
Would you be okay with a doctor using maggot treatments on your wounds if it meant they would clean faster and possibly help avoid infection?
[Image via ShutterStock.com]