Are larvae still used?

  1. i feel nauseated. i ran across a wound web site that talked about using larvae...maggots...in wounds. is this practice valid? i mean, is it for real? is it widespread? can you imagine maggots crawling in and out of your skin? on an open wound? omg! how nasty! ok, i understand they are sterile... but really...
    i don't think wound care will be a specialty of mine!

    julie
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   crnasomeday
    I have actually heard of this. The purpose of it is for debridement and to stimulate blood flow to prevent tissue necrosis. Sounds good.....but still gross. I don't think it's a real widely practiced tactic.
  4. by   BrandyBSN
    Julie! I share your nausea!

    Yes, it is still done, and I have seen it twice, both times were diabetic wounds. The patient tolerated it pretty well, but I had to step outside because I didnt want to get the heeves infront of my patient. I understand that It is a good way to get rid of dead tissue, but it still really flips my stomache.

    I would have to do knocked out for a week if I thought I would have to have worms put in my leg!!!! EWWW!~

    BrandyBSN
  5. by   KRVRN
    I saw a show on TV about this kind of thing (also talked about leeches, etc.). It showed a home health nurse in England using maggots on a diabetic pt's heel on an infected ulcer. I got the impression it wasn't too commom here, but more common elsewhere.
  6. by   essarge
    OK...major cold chills running up and down my spine along with really bad visuals!! Shouldn't this be on the sci fi channel????? EEEEEEWWWWW!!!!!
  7. by   debbyed
    Over the years I have never seen larvae directly introducted into a wound however, most the time when severe wounds have come through different ER's I've worked at and maggots are present, they were not disturbed. Dirty dressings were changed and the maggots were left to to their work. They really do appear to be the most efficient wound debridement around.

    I have to admit however, that I really, really, really hate maggots (above all else). I'd rather climb into a cave full of snakes that touch a maggot. Just one of those personal quirks.

  8. by   prn nurse
    they used leeches a lot............YUCK !!!!!
  9. by   semstr
    o yes, we use them! and the leeches too!
    As I was still working nights and we had patients with leeches on them, I was always afraid to enter the room!
    I really felt sorry for the patients, but I always turned on the big lights, so that I could see the little creeps!(don't mean the patients of course!)

    Worst thing is always getting them again and put them in the jar, the'ra fat and ugly and full of blood by then and sometimes when you pick them up they kind of burst!.........oh my God, I still feel sick after so many times!
    But on the Neuro, we use them for the patients with this neurofever, where nothing works, those leeches do, most of the time. But boy, do I hate them!

    The maggots are pretty bad too, but at least they're in the bandages and can't get out or fall off.
    bbbblllllllllll,

    keep on putting the light on!! Renee
  10. by   jeharshman
    sorry it logged me in under the wrong name
    Last edit by jeharshman on Nov 7, '01
  11. by   RachetRN
    I know it is a strange thing to say -- but maggots are a good thing At least for a nonhealing, necrotic, ulcer -- especially on the heal of a diabetic patient. It is non painful, continuious debredment that promoted wound healing.
    Just a coupla bylines:
    The maggots are raised in a lab under sterile conditions.
    They only eat necrotic tissue and decomposition by products (pus, dead cells).
    The patient usually has no 'feel' to the action -- in other words the patient never complains of feeling them crawl around or anything.
    And lastly, yes, leeches and maggots are used much more in euro countries (along with bee sting therapy & note: they have a decreased rate of antibiotic abuse, tied in or not--who knows)and leeches to maintain/return circulation to a reattached limb/body part.

    Thank you for your time!!
  12. by   nurseybikerchic
    I do my pactice placements at a teaching hospital in Sheffield, Uk and yes, we use maggots. Ive seen them used on leg ulcers and they seem to do a real good job. Strange how they know where to stop, they only eat away the necrotic sloughy tissue, not the healthy stuff, they must prefer it that way. Cant say i fancy trying them myself though. My last placement mentor tells me a lot of other 'old' treatments are being reexamined as well. Maybe the older generations of nurses knew a lot more that they get credit for

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