Girl’s ear reattached with help of leeches

Blood sucking leechs. Hirudo medicinalisWASHINGTON: Doctors in the US have reattached a 19-year-old girl’s ear, which was entirely torn off by a dog, with the help of blood sucking leeches.

A pit bull attack left the girl’s left ear entirely torn off in addition to a small laceration on her arm.

Surgeons at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence attached a tiny artery to the girl’s blood supply with three microscopic stitches.

The artery brought fresh blood to the girl’s reattached ear, but the team could not find a vein to drain blood back to the body.

Therefore, they turned to the blood sucking leeches which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in medicine, ‘Live Science’ reported.

“The body is very efficient at making new arteries and veins, so the leeches are temporary,” Dr Stephen Sullivan, a plastic surgeon at the hospital said. “They act as temporary drainage for the ear while the ear makes its own new veins,” said Sullivan.

For more than two weeks, the woman recovered in the hospital with leeches attached to her left ear, draining away deoxygenated blood. -PTI

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