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.
And after all that they keep asking to borrow money too...
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.
Unpleasant? I was traumatized by Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen, but my wife is really squeamish about the thought of leeches.