Maggot Debridement Therapy

Unusual Therapy

[Photo Credit: Medical Journal of Dr. DY Patil Vidyapeeth]

Maggot Debridement Therapy (also known as Larval therapy or biodebridement) is a type of therapy that involves the use of live, disinfected maggots or fly larvae into non-healing skin and soft-tissue wounds of a human or animal for the purpose of cleaning out the dead tissue and disinfect the wound.

Maggot Therapy is not suitable for all wound type, especially dry or open wounds of body cavity. It is often used in the treatment of chronic diabetic foot ulcers. In other to use MDT, the wound must be a moist, exudate wound with adequate oxygen supply. Sometimes, a dry wound is moistened with saline soaks, so that the maggots have a good environment to feed.

Historically, Maggot therapy is one the ancient method of healing. There are written records Native Americans and Aboriginal tribes using maggot therapy for wound healing. Military physicians also made use of maggot therapy in healing wounded soldiers.

They observed that soldiers whose wounds have been colonized with maggots experienced significantly less morbidity and mortality than soldiers whose wounds had not been colonized. Maggot therapy was also used during World War 1 by orthopedic surgeon, William S. Baer.

Medically, the production and marketing of therapeutic maggots was granted by the FDA in 2004. It was granted to be used as a prescription only medical need for debriding non-healing necrotic skin and soft tissue wounds.

Maggots are usually enclosed in solid polymer bags to hide them from sight. Dressings must be designed to inhibit any maggots from escaping, while allowing air to get to the maggots and to minimize tickling sensation that they often cause.

In maggot therapy, maggots have four principal actions, which are debridement, disinfection of the wound, stimulation of healing and biofilm inhibition and eradication. Maggots are used in healing animal wounds. Although, there have not been many documented studies of use on animals.

[Photo Credit: Issuu]


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