Skip to comments.Leeches save hand, help Illinois man avoid amputation
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.
Had a different imagine in mind... members of congress, the potus, etc.
Good old fashioned home remedy?
Great story, but they had me going with the title - I thought they were talking about politicians.
If the doctors had only used modern diagnostic techniques like the Caladrius bird, they would have known he would recover.
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.
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...
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.
This information may be “handy” in the world of 0bamaCare.
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 ;-)
Get a bad infection and they will use maggots to clean up the infection along with the leeches to get the blood flowing again.
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.
Actually, I’m more concerned with stampeding herds of carnivorous abalone; they’ll roll right over you.
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”.
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.
Pelosi was right—non-working leeches stimulate the economy!
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.