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March 1938


Arch Ophthalmol. 1938;19(3):331-333. doi:10.1001/archopht.1938.00850150013001

Local bloodletting is a time-honored remedy which has fallen into disuse in recent years, being replaced by other methods, more in keeping with newer concepts. However, it is a potent remedy, effecting instantaneous relief from pain and influencing the course of the inflammation. It was practiced by the application of leeches, which mode was abandoned as not compatible with the ideas of antisepsis (although I have never heard of or seen any ill effects from the method), so that nowadays one cannot find leeches in a modern drugstore. This led to the development of the "artificial leech," a trephine-like knife which, quickly rotating cuts through the cutis and produces one or several sharp-edged, circular, profusely bleeding wounds. The place for the application of leeches and of the artificial leech is usually the temple; natural leeches were sometimes applied under the eye.

That local bloodletting is no longer