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Maggots Quickly Clean Up Wounds, Study Shows
Date:12/20/2011

al of maggot therapy, between 2005 and 2008 the researchers focused on 105 patients treated at two hospitals in France.

All the patients had open wounds on their lower limbs that were about 16 inches square or smaller in area, and less than three-quarters of an inch deep. The wounds had not yet healed, and were characterized by a mass of dead tissue ("slough") that had separated from living tissue.

About half the patients were randomly selected to receive MDT while the other half received conventional dressing treatment.

The team used Lucilia sericata maggots (larvae of the common green bottle fly), with each double-layered, spongy mesh cube filled with 80 sterile, live, maggots. The maggots were unable to move outside the confines of the dressing's seal. However, the bag's fiber housing allowed for air and fluid permeability, and the maggots were mobile inside the bags, allowing maggot excretions and secretions to reach the target wound.

Over a two-week period, patients had the maggot-filled bags applied to each wound four times. The control group received conventional treatment: wound scraping by means of a scalpel to remove dead tissue, followed by standard dressing of the exposed live tissue.

At the one-week treatment mark, the researchers found that MDT patients had significantly less dead tissue in their wounds than conventional treatment patients (roughly 55 percent versus 67 percent).

The benefits seemed to equalize by the two-week mark, however, with slough measurements between the two groups nearly the same.

The authors concluded that MDT can promote much faster removal of dead tissue during the first week of care for standard wounds. They said that this could be especially valuable when time is of the essence, as can be the case for patients awaiting skin grafts.

But the team also noted that though safe and painless, the benefits of maggot therapy do not exceed those of standard care over the longer t
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