Simple Solutions That Work

Nurse, the maggots

Maggots clean wounds 18 times faster than normal treatments, can conquer MRSA and would save the NHS millions.

Recent studies have indicated that maggot therapy can cut treatment duration from 89 days to just five, and slash the cost from £2,200 to £300 per patient. Moon describes the grubs as “a highly cost-effective, highly efficient but forgotten and undervalued method of treatment”, and Caroline Flint, the Public Health Minister, says that using fly larvae (maggots) is “increasingly common” and “an illuminating idea”

In trials in Wales and Manchester, says Moon, patients not only recovered faster but noticed less smell and felt less pain from their rotting flesh when maggots were allowed to eat it. “Maggots are highly precise,” she says. “Unlike surgeons, they remove only the rotting tissue. Surgeons have to cut out healthy tissue to clear the wound, thereby creating a larger wound and more bleeding.”

I can believe we would avoid such a simple solution even it is more effective (the health care system seems perfectly capable of avoiding simple effective solutions to me). I hope we pursue scientific study of the most effective solutions – even if they don’t fit with the current way of thinking. It seems to me the health care system needs to find creative and cost effective solutions.

Related: USA Health Care System Costs Reach 16% of GDPLean UK HospitalsManagement Improvement in HealthcareMaggot Therapy ProjectMaggots make medical comeback

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