For those with a weak stomach... don't read on. I don't usually post about work things for some reason or another, but last night was a definite first and deserves to be noted in some fashion.
I have heard about leech therapy before but have never seen it done, or had to do it before... however, the presentation I saw in nursing school several years ago almost made me loose my lunch. And last night, just seeing pictures of the little "animals" as they are called in the brochure made me quite queasy. So from report to 4 am, I waited in nervous anticipation to see if I could actually do the treatment without vomiting on my poor patient.
All that being said I think the worst part about it was trying to get one of the little buggers out of the distilled water jug that they are kept in. Just imagine (or not) trying to get a super disgusting, swimming, black worm out of a a gallon milk jug with a long pair of tweezers. After that was accomplished and the little thing safely secured in a specimen cup, the rest of the process went fairly smoothly.
For those of you wondering why this is a medical treatment, while attached the leeches inject some anticoagulants and vasodilators into the tissue which helps reconstructive flaps heal after surgery, promotes blood movement through the graft, helps relieve venous congestion, etc. For more information and pictures, you can check out this site: http://www.hirudolab.com/index.html