Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

Home > Topics > Medical / Clinical
February 06, 2014

Man's hand saved from amputation with help of 1,400 leeches

After surgery, six leeches were applied to the hand every two hours; saving the hand required 1,482 leeches and 41 units of blood

Rockford Register Star

ROCKFORD, Ill. — Sam Leon is slowly regaining the use of his left hand.

Although, at times, he wondered whether a prosthetic would have been a better option than months of arduous therapy and recovery. Leon, 32, of DeKalb was working as a machine operator last spring when his hand got caught in a roller-type press. The machine ripped the skin off his fingers, and tore the veins, many of the nerves and some of the arteries to his hand.

He was airlifted by Lifeline helicopter to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, where Dr. Pedro Rodriguez, a plastic surgeon with OSF Medical Group, and Dr. Brian Bear, an orthopedic surgeon with Rockford Orthopedic Associates, had been notified of his case. They had a small window of opportunity to save his hand by repairing the damaged nerves, veins and skin lacerations with surgery and using leeches to keep the hand alive until his body made the hand start working again.

Full story: OSF leech therapy helps save life of Sam Leon of DeKalb

Comments
The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of EMS1.com or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.

We Recommend...

Connect with EMS1

Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter Google+

Get the #1 EMS eNewsletter

Fire Newsletter Sign up for our FREE email roundup of the top news, tips, columns, videos and more, sent 3 times weekly
Enter Email
See Sample

Online Campus Both

Medical / Clinical Videos