100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

September 10, 1993 - Image 114

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-09-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

PROTECTED ACCESS
SECURITY SYSTEMS, EC.

661-0464

Best Wishes
To All Our Customers
For A Happy And
Healthy New Year

southfiEld

" AO. •
Ulf

t a g

CHRYSLER

Jeep

Plymouth

Eagle

SERVICE OPEN 7 AM to MIDNIGHT
MONDAY — FRIDAY

28100 Telegraph Rd.-Telegraph at 11'/2 Mile At Tel-Twelve Mall, South End, Southfield • 354-2950

We Accept

INIONNE
VI SA
OMMIM

Personal Checks & Cash

WENDY ELLIMAN SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

F

Wishes Our Clients,
Friends & Family
A Very Happy And
Healthy New Year!

SECURITY, AUDIONIDEO SPECIALISTS

Of Medicine
And The Leech

olk remedies are re-
gaining respect after
decades in discredit.
But . . . leeches? In a
medical
center
so
sophisticated that it routine-
ly transplants hearts, lungs,
livers and bone marrow? In a
university hospital known for
its teaching and research all
over the world?
Well, yes. Hematologist
Amiram Eldor, of the Hebrew
University-Hadassah Medical
Center in Jerusalem, now im-
ports some 3,000 leeches a
year, to be used both in his
own hospital and in a number
of other Israeli medical
centers.
"Leeches often provide the
best possible solution for
plastic and vascular
surgeons," he says. He
describes the case of a
21-year-old woman whose
outer ear was virtually
severed in a car accident.
Plastic surgeons at Hadassah
sewed it back on.
"They reattached the major
blood vessels, but couldn't
reconnect the tiny ones,
which, within days, thrombos-
ed," says Professor Eldor.
"The ear was purple with
engorged blood. Unless we
could decongest it, she would
lose the ear."
Drawing out the engorged
blood through needlepricks
doesn't work, explains Pro-
fessor Eldor, because the tiny
holes clot and close within
minutes. The painless leech-
bite, however, bleeds for 24
hours — and this was what
the patient needed.
Once a day for the next four
days, three leeches were at-
tached to the ear of the ap-
prehensive young woman.
They fed for 20 minutes or so,
and then dropped off —
replete.
"The doctors explained that
the leech was my only hope of
saving the ear," says the pa-
tient. "At first, I was revolted
by the idea, but slowly, as my
ear lost its deep purple color-
ing and felt more comfortable,
I changed my mind."
Professor Eldor and col-
leagues at other medical
centers are bringing back the
leech because it has
remarkable properties — far
exceeding simple blood-
sucking.
"We've discovered that the
leech doesn't only draw out
blood, it also spits an anti-
coagulant into the wound it

makes," says Professor Eldor.
"I've been working on the
leech for several years with
fellow researchers Professor
Meir Rigbi and Mrs. Miriam
Orevi at the Hebrew Univer-
sity of Jerusalem. We've
found that leech saliva con-
tains a veritable phar-
macopoeia of different drugs."

As well as "tidying up"
after plastic surgery — most
commonly, decongesting the
flaps of skin that surgeons
pull across wounds from
where tumors have been
removed — the leech also
helps patients with
peripheral vascular disease.
"These patients generally
have severe problems with
their legs," says Professor
Eldor. "The limbs become
swollen, heavy and painful.
At Hadassah, we treat them
with anti-coagulants, but it
doesn't help a lot. There is, in-
fact, no really good remedy."
Once again, enter the leech.
The Hadassah-Hebrew
University team has shown

Leeches often
provide the best
solution.

that published findings that,
as well as being an anti-
coagulant, leech saliva con-
tains very potent anti-
inflammatory agents, vaso-
dilators and some enzymes
and anti-enzymes — all of
which it spits into the bite.
"After 10 leeches feed from
these 'heavy legs,' the leg is a
visibly better color, has better
circulation and patients walk
more easily and comfortably,"
says Professor Eldor.
"Sometimes, the leg is less
swollen. It's not a perfect
treatment — some patients
bleed too heavily, and there's
always danger of local infec-
tion. But, under medical
supervision, leeches do help a
lot of patients."
In certain areas where the
leech once ruled supreme,
modern medicine has
developed better treatments.
Glaucoma and hypertension
are two examples. But the dif-
ferent compounds found in
leech saliva, and now being
produced through molecular
biological techniques in
Europe, the United States
and Israle, holds out the pro-
mise of new, powerful and ef-
fective drugs for the phar-
macy shelves. ❑I

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan