Tag: leeches

This Just In

Yesterday, but the U.S. Treatment Services Task Force announced that leeches aren’t a particularly good treatment for most ailments. While noting that leeches might still be useful for certain specific circulation disorders, the USTSTF recommended against their use in other situations, like treating fever and abdominal pains.

Although the Task Force has no power to make anyone do anything, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich) was heard on NPR’s Morning Edition saying, “Some people discounted the idea that the government would actually put people to death … this actually is really showing how the insidious encroachment of government between the patient and their doctor plays out.” Camp neglected to address the facts: (1) overuse of leeches is expensive, and science-based recommendations about appropriate use would save the government money without harming patients, and (2) bloodletting can lead to negative side effects, such as upsetting the body’s natural humoral balance.

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