The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

30 June 2004

The leech is back

Medically approved, as a matter of fact.

Hirudo medicinalis has a long, more-or-less respectable history as an instrument of healing, so to speak, and at least two physicians out here in the not-so-wetlands are putting them to good use.

I leave for someone else the task of writing the joke about how the French firm Ricarimpex has received FDA approval to market leeches in the US.

Posted at 7:25 AM to Almost Yogurt


Oooh, I had no idea leeches were still being used in medicine. It's still creepy.

Posted by: Babs at 9:56 AM on 30 June 2004

And after all that they keep asking to borrow money too...

Posted by: McGehee at 10:17 AM on 30 June 2004

actually leeches are pretty useful. the most innovative treatment i had heard about was for reattached severed limbs. it seems that it takes a while for the smaller blood vessels to realign; so, blood pools in the limb reducing oxygen delivery to the injury. by leeching out the pooled blood, as it were, the limb gets a better chance to heal properly.

even so, when getting out of the lake and find one stuck to your foot it can be an unpleasant experience.

Posted by: rammer at 10:42 PM on 2 July 2004

Unpleasant? I was traumatized by Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen, but my wife is really squeamish about the thought of leeches.

Posted by: McGehee at 2:28 PM on 4 July 2004