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Segmented Worms

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Blood Suckers for Good
Teacher Contributed

Blood Suckers For Good

No, those black things are not growing out of her...they were put on her!!

Like An Anti-Vampire

There was a time when doctors were known as "leeches." This was because of their widespread use of leeches and bleeding to heal people. "Need to get rid of the bad blood," they would say. Well, you don't hear doctors called "leeches" much today, but leeches are used in modern medicine, just not for the same reasons that doctors once used them.

So modern medical uses for leeches are well established, but some people feel they still have uses modern medicine hasn't recognized.

"No Duhs" and Head Scratchers

If you need help scratching a mental itch, use the resources below:

  1. How are leeches used in modern surgery? What about the leech's life history makes it ideal for this purpose?
  2. Can you think of any other surgeries besides finger reattachment where leeches could be important for patient recovery? What characteristics do these surgeries have in common to make them good candidates for the use of leeches?
  3. What are some of the problems seen with leech therapy? Does it make sense that some people would respond differently than others? Why or why not? How do some patient responses complicate treating specific individuals as opposed to people in general? Can you think of any way to improve this situation?


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