Maggots and Leaches, Oh My!

Anyone who knows me relatively well, or has listened to me spout about the Flying Spaghetti Monster, knows that I’m a skeptic. Psychic abilites, astrology, ghosts: I’m not down with that. There are reasons which I could elaborate on, but they are beyond the scope of this entry.

Alternative medical treatments such as the various herbal supplements, acupuncture, acupressure, etc., deserve more cautious evaluation because they haven’t been thoroughly investigated yet. Although, I point you to a past entry stating that Echinacea is ineffective.

The NY Times today had an article about the growing “new” applications of leaches and maggots by mainstream surgeons.

This rings of that scene from Gladiator after General Studly-Man was captured by the slavers and had his wounds cleaned by maggots.

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0 Responses to Maggots and Leaches, Oh My!

  1. Tenner says:

    A recently released study recently confirmed the physiological basis of the placebo effect.

    I’m wondering how much of the efficacy of leeches, maggots, et al is explainable by the placebo effect.

  2. psychowoof says:

    In response to Tenner. The efficacy of leeches, maggots is more than a placebo effect. I’ve seen video footage of individuals who have had their scalps sheered off (accidentally, or due to major brain surgery). The doctors used leeches to increase blood flow through the tissues to minimize tissue death. The success rate was actually better than with traditional approaches to saving scalp tissue. The same video footage covered the medical use of maggots.

    I have to say neither was pretty, and I’d need some major drugs if someone was going to use either on me (part of that “bugs” with no legs phobia).

  3. Bill says:

    Didn’t I see something about a year ago that decidedly trounced the placebo effect?

  4. mdsteele47 says:

    I haven’t seen anything that’s debunked the placebo effect recently. (Which by the reasoning of most Americans seems to mean that the research doesn’t exist. But I know better.) You may have luck looking also for the Hawthorne effect, which is similar but extends beyond medicine – the idea that something novel or different provides a perceived effect. Hawthorne effect is pretty much generally accepted fact in social science research.

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