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Leeches save hand, help Illinois man avoid amputation
upi ^ | Feb. 6, 2014 | Brooks Hays

Posted on 02/07/2014 5:47:53 AM PST by JoeProBono

DEKALB, Ill., Over the course of a month, a man in Dekalb, Ill., applied more than 1400 leeches to his injured hand in order to keep it from having to be amputated.

When Sam Leon caught his hand in a roller press at work last year, the results were rather gruesome. The skin was ripped from his hand and fingers and there was severe damage to many of his veins, nerves and arteries. Leon's doctors said that in similar situations, 80 percent of the time, amputation is the only recourse. But Leon was adamant about not losing his hand.

"I just wanted to keep my hand. I had to do whatever I had to do to make this end up the best that it possibly could," Leon told local news station WREX.

After doctors operated on his hand to repair as much of the damage as they could, Leon had to regularly apply leeches to aid the healing process by stimulating blood flow.

"Leeches are able to secrete a substance that is a very powerful blood thinner and it allows your wound to continue to drain until your own veins have reformed and you don't need them anymore," Dr. Brian Bear told WIFR.

Leon still has trouble grasping smaller objects, and doctors say he'll never have a 100 percent functionality, but they say his recovery is nothing short of a miracle.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Pets/Animals; Science
KEYWORDS: amputation; leeches


1 posted on 02/07/2014 5:47:53 AM PST by JoeProBono
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To: JoeProBono

Had a different imagine in mind... members of congress, the potus, etc.


2 posted on 02/07/2014 5:57:38 AM PST by Made In The USA (I'm not yelling, just... just talking enthusiastically..)
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To: JoeProBono

Good old fashioned home remedy?


3 posted on 02/07/2014 5:58:10 AM PST by left that other site
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To: JoeProBono

Great story, but they had me going with the title - I thought they were talking about politicians.


4 posted on 02/07/2014 5:58:54 AM PST by Oatka (This is America. Assimilate or evaporate.)
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To: JoeProBono
Leon's doctors said that in similar situations, 80 percent of the time, amputation is the only recourse.

If the doctors had only used modern diagnostic techniques like the Caladrius bird, they would have known he would recover.

5 posted on 02/07/2014 6:01:35 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Recycled Olympic tagline Shut up, Bob Costas. Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!)
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To: JoeProBono

I cut off most of my thumb just above the knuckle. I was 3+ hours from any doctor that I would have trusted to work on it. I figured that if I didn’t get blood back into the tissue quickly it would die, so I put the tip on, taped it in place and spent the night awake flexing my fingers in and out to encourage blood flow. With no other pain meds, I also worked my way into a bottle of scotch.

At about 4 the next afternoon I removed the bandage knowing that the end of my thumb was either going to be pink (good) or black (bad). It was thankfully pink, and I have full use and feeling today.


6 posted on 02/07/2014 6:06:47 AM PST by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: KarlInOhio


7 posted on 02/07/2014 6:10:28 AM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: JoeProBono

Is this a sign that the U.S. can recover from having hosted so many leeches? Like the man’s hand, we may never recover full functionality, but...


8 posted on 02/07/2014 6:14:12 AM PST by Albion Wilde (The less a man knows, the more certain he is that he knows it all.)
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To: SampleMan


9 posted on 02/07/2014 6:14:15 AM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: SampleMan

That’s amazing!


10 posted on 02/07/2014 6:16:22 AM PST by Albion Wilde (The less a man knows, the more certain he is that he knows it all.)
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To: SampleMan

Wow, that’s pretty crazy heh, you basically did your own surgery and it was a success. That’s incredible, glad to hear you regained full use.

This story kind of makes me wonder what other old medicinal practices might benefit us.


11 posted on 02/07/2014 6:25:21 AM PST by Bulwyf
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To: JoeProBono

This information may be “handy” in the world of 0bamaCare.


12 posted on 02/07/2014 6:29:00 AM PST by windsorknot
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To: Bulwyf

The rest of the story is that my wife is a board certified ER physician.

I called her (when I made it to a phone), told her my plan concerning reattaching immediately vs. driving 3 hrs to get to a mediocre facility, and she concurred. Best idea was to get it reattached fast and not to let an MD that didn’t know what they were doing try to stich it up.

She didn’t feel that stiches were extremely important and that unless they really knew what they were doing, they could cause more harm than good.

She also says that I have the healing qualities of a starfish ;-)


13 posted on 02/07/2014 6:35:18 AM PST by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: Bulwyf

Get a bad infection and they will use maggots to clean up the infection along with the leeches to get the blood flowing again.


14 posted on 02/07/2014 6:36:17 AM PST by IMR 4350
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To: Made In The USA

Just think of one of those big, Texas leech ranches, with the vast herds of leeches being driven on leech drives by leechboys. The hard part is using the little, tiny, branding irons.

But after a hard day, they can settle down to a hearty meal of a plate full of arugula and feta cheese with vinaigrette by the chuck wagon, and listen to mp3s of Mylie Cyrus belting out her critically acclaimed accordion covers of Metallica’s greatest hits, while always on watch for attacks by space aliens and coyotes.


15 posted on 02/07/2014 6:55:54 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (WoT News: Rantburg.com)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Actually, I’m more concerned with stampeding herds of carnivorous abalone; they’ll roll right over you.


16 posted on 02/07/2014 7:02:56 AM PST by OregonRancher (Some days, it's not even worth chewing through the restraints)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy


17 posted on 02/07/2014 7:14:40 AM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: JoeProBono

I call Bull-Butter!! You can’t fit that many democrat voters on just *one* hand!

But seriously, amazing technique. I don’t know if I could sit still with critters of any sort attached to me. It would take a whole lot of “getting used to”.


18 posted on 02/07/2014 7:38:45 AM PST by jaydee770
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To: OregonRancher

Just turn the flock of prairie squid loose on ‘em. There will be abalone carnage a foot deep and a mile wide. At least until the crocoyotes tear into squid. And ink stain larger than the Exxon Valdeez.


19 posted on 02/07/2014 8:17:35 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (WoT News: Rantburg.com)
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To: Albion Wilde

Pelosi was right—non-working leeches stimulate the economy!


20 posted on 02/07/2014 8:24:03 AM PST by SgtHooper (If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

And lets not play down the risk them ‘boys have. The only thing standing in the way of parts of Ft. Worth being leveled during a leech drive is the brave men on their horses, skilled use of a lasso, and maybe some salt.

Some of the toughest take a it step further, working the rodeo circuit during the off-season. Brave, or just plain crazy, these guys risk life and limb riding some of the most fearsome leeches. I’ve seen a rider get slimed, and it aint pretty.

Truth is, the original pilot for Bonanza was based on a leech ranch. With the advent of HD television, maybe now there can finally be a series about leech ranching. It’s about time this story about life here in the West in finally memorialized.


21 posted on 02/07/2014 10:48:13 AM PST by Made In The USA (I'm not yelling, just... just talking enthusiastically..)
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