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Maggot Debridement Therapy

Bagged and Free-Range: How Different Maggot Therapy Dressings Work

August 27, 2015
By Ron Sherman MD, MSC, DTM&H I have been avoiding the topic of addressing the differences between contained (bagged) versus confined (non-bagged or "free-range") maggot therapy because I haven't wanted to take a position in affairs that affect specific companies' products. In addition, I have a conflict of interest in that I run a laboratory that produces one type of dressing and not the other. Nevertheless, I have been dragged involuntarily into this conversation by the hoards of people who ask me about the data and information surrounding the application of maggots in containment bags. Indeed, I may even have an obligation to share my thoughts, given my role in the maggot therapy movement, and given that I have experience in testing and using both techniques. So with that understanding, let's begin by exploring the maggot dressing options currently available. The terminology can be a bit confusing so we should begin there.
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Common Obstacles on the Road to Maggot Debridement Therapy

June 23, 2017
By Ronald Sherman MD, MSC, DTM&H Bob Hope and Bing Crosby starred in a series of films called "On the Road" in which the duo traveled around the globe, facing a variety of amusing obstacles and mishaps. Therapists and patients desiring maggot debridement therapy (MDT) for their non-healing wounds often face a variety of obstacles, too... though they may not seem quite as amusing. Let's consider some of these obstacles and examine ways to avoid or mitigate them.
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Creepy Crawlies of Wound Care

October 15, 2020
As summer begins to wind down and we look ahead to Halloween, let’s discuss some “creepy crawlies” we may encounter in wound care that may cause apprehension in even the most seasoned health care staff.

Debridement: When and Why?

April 30, 2020
By the WoundSource Editors Wound debridement is a crucial strategy for addressing some of the underlying causes of wound chronicity. The wound healing process can be impacted by chronic disease, vascular insufficiency, diabetes, neurological defects, nutritional deficiency, advanced age, and local factors such as pressure, infection, and edema. Debridement can expedite healing when used to remove necrotic tissue, other non-viable tissue, and foreign material. It can also be a tool to manage biofilm. Debridement exposes the viable underlying tissue, which promotes healing. There are several methods of debridement; determining the best option depends on the health care setting as well as the characteristics of the wound being treated.
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Deserving of More Respect: Changing Attitudes Toward Maggot Debridement Therapy

September 6, 2012
By Ron Sherman MD, MSC, DTM&H Like Rodney Dangerfield, maggot therapy sometimes gets no respect. Take, for example, the following comment which appeared on the WoundSource Facebook page, in response to a post by the publication’s editors about my blog discussing palliative maggot therapy use on a necrotic tumor.
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Difficult Times Call for Creative Solutions: Biosurgery

June 4, 2020
Challenges are nothing new for those of us who work in health care. Every day, we triumph over difficult situations. Yet, the current coronavirus outbreak has complicated even the simplest of procedures and has brought us additional challenges.
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Don’t All Wounds Deserve Palliative Care?

February 20, 2013
By Aletha Tippett MD For over a decade now I have treated wounds in palliative care patients and non-palliative care patients. The “funny” thing is that there is no difference in how I treat these wounds, all are approached the same way, with similar treatments used. As I teach more and more about palliative wound care, it seems obvious to me that all wounds and all people deserve this approach. Who does not deserve less pain? Who deserves to be embarrassed by wound odor? Who deserves to have an infection? Who deserves a lesser quality of life? When asked these questions I would think the answer would be NO ONE.
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Even Medicinal Maggots Carry Warnings

June 20, 2014
By Deboshree Roy, MSC and Ron Sherman MD, MSC, DTM&H Most wound care therapists are well acquainted with the benefits of maggot debridement therapy (MDT) by now, but may not be as informed about its adverse events. As an intern with the BTER Foundation, one of my projects was to review records of adverse events and potential complications by examining data from published studies, regulatory documents, and the quality control files shared by one producer of medicinal maggots, Monarch Labs (Irvine, California). Now nearing the end of my 6-month study, who better to share my discoveries with than the wound care experts that visit the WoundSource blog?
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Healing Helpers: The History of Larval Therapy

July 20, 2023
In wound clinics far and wide, the appearance of unplanned tiny visitors during a dressing change is often met with disgust. These creepy critters tend to indicate the presence of poor hygiene along with a general “ick” factor. The benefits of sterile larval therapy (Lucilia sericata), including exclusive debridement of necrotic tissue and antimicrobial properties, have been widely recognized.1 The truth is that since man's dawn, maggots have been synonymous with wounds, for better or worse.
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