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maggots and leeches in modern medicine

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  • taran@gci.net
    Please excuse the lengthy off topic post, but there seems to be an interest in this here. When I learn more about medieval leather I promise to post that as
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 24 12:26 PM
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      Please excuse the lengthy off topic post, but there seems to be an interest in this here. When I learn more about medieval leather I promise to post that as well.

      Britain is leading the way in the modern use of maggots in treating wounds such as diabetic ulcers and wounds infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria. The maggots are grown by a specialist and they are usually applied wrapped in a thin gauze bag. The maggots will eat through the gauze and start eating the dead tissue. They also seem to secrete an enzyme that helps prohibit infection in the wound. They are left on for three days and then removed. Fresh maggots are applied if necessary. This is all painless and the only sensation described is a tickling or itching at the end of treatment. They use maggots from the green bottle fly. This variety will only consume dead tissue. Other varieties will start on living tissue once they run out of dead tissue. The medical use of maggots goes a long way back in history and gets "rediscovered" every once in a while. Mostly in wars and areas of little medical care. It is recommended in some survival guides and can work, but the chance
      s of infection are tremendous when out in the field.

      Leeches are used in modern medicine on areas that might swell and cut off circulation or cause scarring. Mainly on fingers and around eyes after surgery. The leeches painlessly drain away excess blood preventing constriction and loss of circulation and their saliva contains a natural anti-blood clotting factor that is better than manufactured drugs without the side effects.

      Even blood letting is still done today for some medical conditions. The blood is removed with a blood-donor set up so it is a bit more advanced than just cutting open a vein with a fleam, and it is actually helpful to the patient.

      -Bryan

      P.S. I have also heard of "rat surgeons" during the American Civil War that would eat only the dead tissue and leave living tissue alone. If it happened then I am sure it happened a lot longer ago in history as well.
    • Michael Sheldon
      ... If by leading the way you mean using techniques also in use by the american medical community for many decades, then yes, they are leading the way. My
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 26 11:57 PM
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        >Britain is leading the way in the modern use of maggots
        >in treating wounds such as diabetic ulcers and wounds
        >infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria....

        If by "leading the way" you mean using techniques also in use by the
        american medical community for many decades, then yes, they are leading the
        way.

        My wife has administered leeches many times over the years for a variety of
        reasons, from clearing dead tissue from diseased wounds, to improving blood
        flow in new skin grafts.

        It's not new, it's not revolutionary, and lord knows the British don't have
        a corner on the market. It's a tried and true technique, well documented in
        the medical journals.


        After my wife was nearly allowed to die from internal bleeding in one of
        London's "best" hospitals a couple of years ago, both she and I have a
        rather dim view of Britain's "wonderful" health care system. My wife is a
        nurse with 17 years experience in critical care and emergency medicine.
        Quite frankly, she was appalled at the low quality of medicine practiced
        there.

        Michael J. Sheldon
        http://www.desertraven.com/
        Make a fast friend, adopt a greyhound!
      • Frojel Gotlandica
        That could be true of any country, one bad experience does not mean the whole countries medical system is crap. There are hopitals here in Australia that lead
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 27 2:27 AM
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          That could be true of any country, one bad experience does not mean the whole countries medical system is
          crap. There are hopitals here in Australia that lead the world in some techniques etc while others are little better
          than chop shops but that doesn't mean our whole system is crap. People are not perfect and the staff are
          people. I had a friend come home from a visit to the States and she has the same opinion of the American
          hospitals. Mind you we cannot convince her different.

          Now how do we tan leech hides and what can we make out of them that would be period?
          Damn how does one skin them? They just seem to turn inside out.
          :-)
          Sandy

          >After my wife was nearly allowed to die from internal bleeding in one of
          >London's "best" hospitals a couple of years ago, both she and I have a
          >rather dim view of Britain's "wonderful" health care system. My wife is a
          >nurse with 17 years experience in critical care and emergency medicine.
          >Quite frankly, she was appalled at the low quality of medicine practiced
          >there.


          Fr�jel Gotlandica Viking Re-enactment Society.
          http://www.frojel.com/
          frojel@...
        • Marc Carlson
          ... That s easy. You tan them the same way you tan anything else. In a big pit :) You would obviously stitch them into prophylactics, which is why they never
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 27 8:26 AM
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            --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "Frojel Gotlandica"
            <frojel@d...> wrote:
            > Now how do we tan leech hides and what can we make out of them that
            > would be period?

            That's easy. You tan them the same way you tan anything else. In a
            big pit :)

            You would obviously stitch them into prophylactics, which is why they
            never appear in the literature...

            > Damn how does one skin them? They just seem to turn inside out.

            That's the tricky part. I'm afraid the skills have been lost with the
            ancient leather prophylacticmakers guilds.

            Marc
          • Frojel Gotlandica
            But that must have been for the Royals mate, pig intestines were more common amoung the peasants as prophylactics weren t they? Just think of the expense even
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 27 2:06 PM
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              But that must have been for the Royals mate, pig intestines were more common amoung the peasants as
              prophylactics weren't they? Just think of the expense even in a cottage industry of tanning and sewing all
              those little bits. I think that may have been a little like riveted maile, only for the rich. :-)

              Sandy

              On Thu, 27 Mar 2003 16:26:32 -0000, Marc Carlson wrote:

              >That's easy. You tan them the same way you tan anything else. In a
              >big pit :)

              >You would obviously stitch them into prophylactics, which is why they
              >never appear in the literature...

              >> Damn how does one skin them? They just seem to turn inside out.

              >That's the tricky part. I'm afraid the skills have been lost with the
              >ancient leather prophylacticmakers guilds.

              >Marc


              Fr�jel Gotlandica Viking Re-enactment Society.
              http://www.frojel.com/
              frojel@...
            • Marc Carlson
              ... Well sure, for poor people. Royals, rich merchants, the French (where do you think the French Tickler came from?). Marc
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 28 7:57 AM
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                --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "Frojel Gotlandica"
                <frojel@d...> wrote:
                > But that must have been for the Royals mate, pig intestines were
                >more common amoung the peasants as prophylactics weren't they?

                Well sure, for poor people. Royals, rich merchants, the French (where
                do you think the French Tickler came from?).

                Marc
              • Frojel Gotlandica
                Hi Marc Interesting eh? Hmm shall go ponder that one, you have left me speechless, such a fountain of info mate really great :-) I suppose it is all
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 28 4:09 PM
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                  Hi Marc
                  Interesting eh? Hmm shall go ponder that one, you have left me speechless,
                  such a fountain of info mate really great :-) I suppose it is all documented in
                  the Marquis De Sade, now that's a worry, does that count as a secondary source? :-)
                  Mind you those damned leeches are tough, wonder how many hides it would take to
                  make a pair of shoes, to hell with the tanned fish skin or eel skin I think these would make
                  a real status symbol. Just see it now, " Yup tanned leach hides had em ten years now,
                  real hard wearing leather. " :-) LOL.

                  On a serious note....
                  Just tanned another eel skin using one of those commercial tanning kits, increadible
                  you could use it for windows, almost transparent. You can actually lay it on a sheet of typing and read through it. Oiling it makes it really quite transparent and also very waterproof. Interesting experiment.
                  Very satisfied with the result but I doubt that I will try the fish skin unless I get a large leather jacket or similar. Trout just doesn't seem tough enough. LOL.

                  >--- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "Frojel Gotlandica"
                  ><frojel@d...> wrote:
                  >> But that must have been for the Royals mate, pig intestines were
                  >>more common amoung the peasants as prophylactics weren't they?
                  >
                  >Well sure, for poor people. Royals, rich merchants, the French (where
                  >do you think the French Tickler came from?).
                  >
                  >Marc
                  >
                  >
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                  Fr�jel Gotlandica Viking Re-enactment Society.
                  http://www.frojel.com/
                  frojel@...
                • The_redman@compuserve.com
                  ... Or is that the Freedom Tickler these days? Or Freedom Kissing ? Duryn/John
                  Message 8 of 9 , Mar 28 7:21 PM
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                    In a message dated 3/28/03 8:06:45 AM, marccarlson20@... writes:

                    >French Tickler
                    Or is that the "Freedom Tickler" these days?

                    Or "Freedom Kissing"?

                    Duryn/John
                  • Morgan
                    Seems to me that you really don t need to tan the little beasties - just let them feed on the average american. All the preservatives in the diet should do
                    Message 9 of 9 , Mar 30 12:54 PM
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                      Seems to me that you really don't need to tan the little beasties - just let them feed on the average american.  All the preservatives in the diet should do quite nicely..........
                       
                      Morgan the lurker (who has learned an amazing amount here)
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Friday, March 28, 2003 5:09 PM
                      Subject: Re: [medieval-leather] Re: Tanning (was maggots and leeches in modern medicine)

                      Hi Marc
                      Interesting eh? Hmm shall go ponder that one, you have left me speechless,
                      such a fountain of info mate really great :-) I suppose it is all documented in
                      the Marquis De Sade, now that's a worry, does that count as a secondary source? :-)
                      Mind you those damned leeches are tough, wonder how many hides it would take to
                      make a pair of shoes, to hell with the tanned fish skin or eel skin I think these would make
                      a real status symbol. Just see it now, " Yup tanned leach hides had em ten years now,
                      real hard wearing leather. " :-) LOL.

                      On a serious note....
                      Just tanned another eel skin using one of those commercial tanning kits, increadible
                      you could use it for windows, almost transparent. You can actually lay it on a sheet of typing and read through it. Oiling it makes it really quite transparent and also very waterproof. Interesting experiment.
                      Very satisfied with the result but I doubt that I will try the fish skin unless I get a large leather jacket or similar. Trout just doesn't seem tough enough. LOL.

                      >--- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "Frojel Gotlandica"
                      ><frojel@d...> wrote:
                      >> But that must have been for the Royals mate, pig intestines were
                      >>more common amoung the peasants as prophylactics weren't they?
                      >
                      >Well sure, for poor people. Royals, rich merchants, the French (where
                      >do you think the French Tickler came from?).
                      >
                      >Marc
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