BurnsLarval (Maggot) Tx

Using maggots to clean wounds

We’re talking about the soft-bodied legless grub that is the larva of certain flies. Their benefits include cleaning the wound and possibly speeding healing.

Medscape has a detailed review of the subject.
In one study that is representative of the available research, removal of dead tissue occurred more rapidly and the size of the wound decreased faster during the first 4 weeks of maggot therapy compared to standard therapy, but the actual time it took to heal was the same.

The bottom line?

  • There’s not enough evidence to support using maggots in everyone
  • Although the little buggers clean the wound, they don’t seem to speed healing

Research has not addressed the pain and discomfort associated with cleaning large wounds (as in burn patients). This might be a possible advantage to study in the future.

10/30/06 08:56 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.