Larry, a 60-year-old man, is alive and recovering thanks to maggot therapy, after running out of conventional medical treatments to help heal a wound that for a long time he had him in bed.
Lisa Baxter, director of the wound care team at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, thought she had seen it all. She has spent years evaluating sores, incisions and infections in hospitalized patients.
However, Larry’s case was unusual, he had a severely infected ulcer on his back, “He had several surgeries to try to clean the wound, which made it bigger each timeBaxter said.
The worst thing is that of the 14 available antibiotics, the bacteria in his tissue were resistant to 12the remaining pair of drugs were listed as the only options, but both had the same terrifying side effect, kidney damage.
Because there were no other alternatives, he went ahead and ended up on dialysis, but the worst thing was that his injury kept getting worse, I mean, Larry had run out of optionsGiven the advanced nature of the case, they even began with palliative medications to temporarily alleviate their suffering.
Suddenly, an unusual alternative arose, use maggots as a last treatment to clean infected tissue. The patient, practically hopeless, agreed.
After obtaining approval from hospital administrators, Baxter and his team purchased 3,000 maggots from a medical supply company which they placed in the wound.
It was then that the miracle happened andhe little insects did their job and fed only on dead tissue, leaving healthy tissue behind.
The process of eating also produces unique enzymes, which Baxter believes killed stubborn bacteria that drugs couldn’t.
“Once the bacteria were gone, we were able to stop his antibiotics, which means we were able to stop his dialysis,” Baxter said.
Weeks later, Larry is alive and still surprised that he said yes to worm therapy, but happy, “I was the one who pushed them to find another solution, so I can’t say no. The fact that they were delighted with my progress meant that what they were seeing was going to go away and that I am getting better. That was probably due to the happiest time I had in the hospital.”
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