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4 Gruesome Antiquated Medical Treatments That Are Coming Back

4 Gruesome Antiquated Medical Treatments That Are Coming Back
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Thinking of the state of medicine 100 years ago can bring on a shudder and a silent offering of thanks that we were born now and not then. But hold off on the gratitude: some of the grossest and most upsetting treatments are back.

1. Maggots

Maggots eat flesh. Human flesh. If you wind up in the hospital with the wrong kind of injury or disorder, you might find them eating your flesh. How is that for a picture: looking down at, say, your thigh and seeing a bunch of translucent larvae eating you? Gross.

Andrew Sullivan, who calls them “Eaters of the Dead,” explains why doctors use them: to clean wounds and prevent infection. They eat the dead flesh from a wound and may secrete a substance that suppresses the immune system so that it doesn’t attack them, while it also prevents infection or swelling.

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Photo credit: iStockphoto

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164 comments

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8:05AM PST on Mar 3, 2013

pretty scary. bleh

4:02PM PST on Jan 10, 2013

I honestly don't see what the issue is, as long as the patient gives their consent. Honestly, I'd rather live, be it due to maggots, leeches and many other fairly gross things if the alternative is dying. If you had your finger cut off, would you stick it in your mouth so there's a chance they can reattach it in the hospital?

Granted, these things are, as you point out, based on old practice, but that doesn't mean that they haven't evolved it. Tools and treatments and basic knowledge gets better every day. Just because it has a bad rep due to the past, doesn't mean its improved form can't be good now.

10:40PM PST on Jan 3, 2013

yuk....hope i never have an ailment that calls for any of these treatments...

1:54PM PST on Jan 1, 2013

I have ever heard that leeches help as medicine but gross....all of these make me yikes!!!



9:45AM PST on Dec 31, 2012

Thalidomide, or Neurosedyn as it was called in Sweden, cost the manufacturers millions and millions in legal fees and restitution all around the world. Now they are taking that back by leaching off needy patients. Nothing surprises me when it comes to Big C, and in this case, Big Pharma.

5:22AM PST on Dec 30, 2012

Well, if they work...

8:10PM PST on Dec 25, 2012

yuck..

2:00PM PST on Dec 25, 2012

Whatever Works.

9:02AM PST on Dec 22, 2012

if its a case of life or maggots then guess it would have to be maggots

5:33PM PST on Dec 19, 2012

Grrrr@thalomid

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