Observations on the action of live maggots in suppurating wounds are not new—in fact, they are probably as old as medicine itself.
Ambrose Paré,1 in the sixteenth century, observed unusually rapid healing of suppurating wounds in which blow flies had deposited their eggs. Other references were made by Larrey,2 Napoleon's famous surgeon, who noticed during the Syrian campaign the presence of larvae in the wounds of soldiers. Although these insects were troublesome, they expedited the healing of the wounds by shortening the work of nature and causing "the sloughs to fall off."
Malgaigne,3 in 1847, made an observation concerning the action of maggots in the treatment of complicated fractures. Similar observations were made in the Civil War by Dr. W. W. Keene. These observers stated that maggots exerted a healing influence on infected wounds.
Dr. Edward Martin of Philadelphia, referring to maggots at a session of the
LIVINGSTON SK, PRINCE LH. THE TREATMENT OF CHRONIC OSTEOMYELITIS: WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE USE OF THE MAGGOT ACTIVE PRINCIPLE. JAMA. 1932;98(14):1143–1149. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730400021005
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