Maggots Make Medical Comeback

Think of these wriggly little creatures not as, well, gross, but as miniature surgeons: Maggots are making a medical comeback, cleaning out wounds that just won't heal. Wound-care clinics around the country are giving maggots a try on some of their sickest patients after high-tech treatments fail. It's a therapy quietly championed since the early 1990s by a California physician who's earned the nickname Dr. Maggot. But Dr. Ronald Sherman's maggots are getting more attention since, in January, they became the first live animals to win Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites) approval — as a medical device to clean out wounds. A medical device? They remove the dead tissue that impedes healing "mechanically," FDA (news - web sites) determined. It's called chewing.

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