Thursday, July 01, 2004

Hello middle ages!

The FDA has approved leeches to be sold as "medical devices."

For many people, leaches conjure up the image of Humphrey Bogart removing the bloodsuckers from his legs in African Queen, but FDA reports that leeches can help heal skin grafts by removing blood pooled under the graft and restore blood circulation in blocked veins by removing pooled blood.
Indeed the use of leeches to draw blood goes back thousands of years. They were widely used as an alternative treatment to bloodletting and amputation for several thousand years. Leeches reached their height of medicinal use in the mid-1800s.

By the way, isn't the "African Queen" a rather old reference to use? I love the movie, but the first thing that comes to my mind when leeches are mentioned is the scene in "Stand By Me." Generation gap?

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