Creepy-crawlies may help heal diabetes wounds
Washington: Researchers from Hawaii have a suggestion for how to jump-start the healing of difficult diabetic wounds: let maggots do the work.
To allow such wounds to heal, doctors remove infected or dead tissue with scalpels or enzymes, a process they call debridement.
But these tools often fail, said Dr. Lawrence Eron from Kaiser Hospital and the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.
"These problem patients with diabetes really need better treatments in order to salvage their limbs," he told Reuters Health.
"Maggot debridement treatment is overwhelmingly effective," he added. "After just one treatment these wounds start looking better."
He and his colleagues presented their findings this week in Chicago at a scientific meeting, and they still haven`t been vetted by independent researchers.
Eron`s team treated 37 diabetics with maggots. The patients all suffered from a type of artery disease that causes poor circulation in the limbs, and they all had stubborn wounds -- some up to five years old.
The doctors put 50 to 100 maggots (of the species Lucilia sericata) on the wounds and left them there for two days, at which time they applied new ones. They repeated this five times on average.
"We cage the maggots in a mesh-like material. Nylon panty hose might be used. And then we seal them so they don`t get out," Eron explained.
Twenty-one patients had successful outcomes, defined as eradication of infection, complete removal of dead tissue, formation of robust connective tissue in the wound and more than three-quarters closure of the wound.
The treatment failed in a handful of patients. One had excessive inflammation surrounding the wound, two bled too much, and three had problems with infected bones.
Five wounds were infected with the antibiotic-mocking "superbug" MRSA, but they healed successfully with the maggot therapy. Nine wounds were infected with another bacterium called MSSA, and six of those healed up. All 10 cases with infection due to group B streptococci were successfully treated, Eron said.
Asked how he persuades patients to undergo the creepy-crawly treatment, Eron said he carefully explains the procedure and then has them sign a consent form.
"A lot of patients might be somewhat wary of having live insects placed into their wounds so we explain how it works and what possible problems might occur," he said.
Maggots secrete substances into the wounds that liquefy dead tissue and then they ingest the material to further degrade it in their gut. The wounds are cleaned, and other substances contained in the maggot secretions allow the development of granulation tissue, a type of connective tissue that forms during wound healing.
"After this, we go on to do further treatment with hydrogels, grafts of cell culture tissue, or negative pressure dressings," said Eron. "But to get to this point where these techniques will work, you really need to clean up the wound, get rid of dead tissue, and get robust granulation tissue into the wound. And this is where the maggots help."
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- Five unmanned parachute-like objects spotted over Mumbai airport
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 24, 2015
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- CBSE Board Class 12th Exam Results 2015 declared
- Jaipur girl Mini Rajpal wins Miss India Deaf 2015!
- Dawood's intercepted phone calls prove yet again he is in Pakistan
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man?
- Delhi's 2015 CBSE Class 12 topper M Gayatri talks to Zee Media
- Mumbai architecture creates double decker bus from scrap!
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man? Part-2
- One year of Modi govt: PM addresses mega rally in Mathura
- No respite from heat for next three days: IMD
- Growing medical negligence in Delhi's AIIMS
- Police registers case after parachute-like objects were spotted over Mumbai airport
- CBSE.nic.in 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board (cbseresults.nic.in) Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced on May 25
- Heatwave claims over 550 lives so far, Delhi saw hottest day
- LIVE - Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced shortly
- Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 declared
- IPL 2015 final: Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title
- Check cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 12 result 2015
- Two dead, over 100 injured as Muri Express derails in UP; Prabhu announces Rs 2 lakhs ex-gratia for kin of dead
- Mathura rally: PM Modi slams 'corrupt' UPA regime, lauds NDA govt's efforts in past one year
- Check WBBSE (wbresults.nic.in) Class 12th Results: West Bengal Board (wbscvet.org) Higher Secondary Class XII Vocational Results to be declared today at 4 PM
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- CBSE Class 12 results out: Here's how you can check
- Public rally on 100 days of AAP govt: As it happened
- CBSE Board 12th XII Results 2015: Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced today at 12 Noon
- Kejriwal lists AAP govt's achievements of 100 days, slams Centre's 'dictatorial attitude'
- Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party changes its logo