Posted by Snarkhunter on October 02, 1997 at 14:56:46:
In response to Leaches, written by Ann on September 25, 1997 at 19:11:21
] ] Technically, bloodletting is still practiced. I do believe it was still a common thig to do up through the 1890's, though don't quote me on that. Recently, studies have shown that bloodletting actually works in some situations. Go figure! You won't catch me doing it though.
] Leaches are also making a minor medical comeback. Apparently there are uses for the anti-coagulant that they secrete to make people bleed.
Yes, there are unusual cases where relieving blood pressure by bloodletting is helpful. I recall several years ago a case where blood was piling up in a swollen extremity (a finger, possibly) unable to return past the constriction. Leeches were used to help rectify the problem.
One problem with leechery is that a satiated leech may not feel the need to feed again for up to a year. Thus, unless one has a plentiful supply of critters, the leech must be made to regurgitate the blood after a session.
Bloodletting would have been common at the beginning of the century and pretty widespread up through the middle, but by the last quarter, rare indeed. I recall an episode of =Bramwell= where the surgeon bleeds a patient & the other 2 protagonists are appalled, commenting pointedly that he is 30 years out of date. (This in 1895).
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