Why bother with a quack when you can get a real maggot instead?

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On the late news two nights ago we saw a segment on how American doctors are increasingly turning to nature for a bit of help in curing some of their more stubborn, slow-healing cases.

But when I say 'natural,' I don't mean the usual suspects like medicinal marijuana, or any other Asian or African herbal remedies, acupuncture or even an ecclectic Native American tribesman coming to your house to smoke out your blocked chi and cleanse your aura. (No, I'm not confused any more than I usually am! After all, I DID say that the man was ecclectic!)

No, we are merely talking about good old fashioned - but FDA approved - maggots.

Pull up a chair and grab some munchies, 'cause what I'm about to tell you is in such good taste that it's bound to stir up your appetite!

Apparently, doctors are employing maggots to speed up the healing process in some seriously infected wounds.

This is how it all goes down: They unleash a couple of maggots in the wound to munch on the rotten flesh, and, once the first batch of critters have had their fill, the doctors unleash a new, hungry bunch until the job is done and the wound is clean.

Talk about killing (feeding?) two flie... maggots... with one sto... wound!

When asked whether or not the grossness factor isn't a bit much for some patients to stomach, one doctor was quoted as saying: "Well, I assure you, when a patient is left with the choice of amputation or having maggots and thus saving their endangered limb, they always choose the maggots."

Yes, that doc probably has an equally gentle bedside manner. Imagine him with circular saw in the one hand and a group of mushy worms dangling from the fingers of his other hand, leaning over a petrified patient and saying cheerfully: "Come now, Mr. Brown. Don't be such a baby. It's time to make a decision here!"

Anyway, after we quietly watched the segment, the boy turned to me and said in his best imitation doctor-voice: "Miss Red, I'd like you to take four maggots and call me in the morning!"

Now THERE's a propper bedside manner!

9 Comments

amy t. said:

I'm so glad it's been 2 hours since I ate lunch. Thank you so much for sharing that delectable story!

Annika said:

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

miked said:

I find that sort of stuff fascinating. I think doctors here in Canada have been doing it for awhile now. Hey, if it's going to save you from getting a leg chopped off... bring on the maggots!

Casey said:

yuckyuckyuck!.....I've heard of it before...but like in books and movies that are before the 20th century....aren't we suppose to have like meds to do that now or something?

kim said:

now there's another english word for me: maggots. after i found out what it means and saw annikas comment to the left, i decided to not finish reading. i haven't had breakfast yet and need more coffee...

Deeleea said:

Eeewwww - did you know they are using leeches again too? I have a recollection of an item on the news back home where a boy's lip was sewn back on after a dog attack and leeches were applied regularly to reduce the swelling/bruising/scarring....

Too gross to be believed... but not as gross as maggots I think...

martha said:

I think i remember reading or hearing something about this... and maybe something about people feeling it? maybe I'm making that part up. either way this wasn't what I wanted to read while I ate breakfast. I should know enough to listen when you say it'll be gross.

shaunacat said:

That is so completely disgusting. Gah!!

Way to go, Red. ;o)

Helen said:

If a doctor ever came near me with a maggot, I would become so seriously unglued it would take days and thorazine to talk me down from the ceiling.

I'll take drugs and invasive surgery, Alex, for 500.

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is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
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comments
  • Helen : If a doctor ever came near me with a maggot, I would become so seriously unglued it would take days ... [go]
  • shaunacat : That is so completely disgusting. Gah!! Way to go, Red. ;o)... [go]
  • martha : I think i remember reading or hearing something about this... and maybe something about people feeli... [go]
  • Deeleea : Eeewwww - did you know they are using leeches again too? I have a recollection of an item on the ne... [go]
  • kim : now there's another english word for me: maggots. after i found out what it means and saw annikas co... [go]
  • Casey : yuckyuckyuck!.....I've heard of it before...but like in books and movies that are before the 20th ce... [go]
  • miked : I find that sort of stuff fascinating. I think doctors here in Canada have been doing it for awhile ... [go]
  • Annika : Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.... [go]
  • amy t. : I'm so glad it's been 2 hours since I ate lunch. Thank you so much for sharing that delectable stor... [go]
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