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Leech applying procedure

There are many issues that should be taken under consideration before we begin the therapy. Those are the age of a patient, patient’s condition, patient’s disease, case history, previous medical treatment, medicines taken. Crucial is to find out whether the contraindications to the therapy exist.

The number of leeches used in one session depends on many factors, also the experience and the knowledge of the therapist. If the patient undergoes a procedure for the first time, the number of leeches applied shouldn’t be bigger than 4. If the risk of bleeding and other complications is low, 4 – 8 leeches can be used.

During the procedure wearing disposable gloves is required. It is also highly recommended to wear a gown, even googles and a masque. The photos below show the correct proceeding:

Before being applied, the leeches may be put into the syringe (with the plunger removed) or a small lid, in order to restrict their movement. It may also be helpful in choosing the leech in proper size.

The practitioner should use a pair of non – toothed forceps.

Warmed up, clean skin will surely attract the leech.

Wearing disposable gloves maximize the safety of the treatment.

The procedure lasts 15 – 90 minutes and the time depends on where on the body the leeches are applied. Applying them onto areas with good blood supply (for example; head, genital organs, anus area, mucous membrane) makes the session shorter, because the animals feed quickly and easily. They should always detach on their own, without any forcible removal.

The break between two hirudotherapy sessions should last 4 – 8 days. The therapy should continue for 4 – 5 weeks and may be repeated after 3 – 6 months if necessary.

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