Q. My grandfather was bayoneted in the stomach in World War I. His comrades left, promising to pick him up later. They did leave some water for him.
He said as he lay there he watched the maggots eating at his dead flesh. When his unit returned, his friends were surprised to find him still alive. He died at age 82.
A. Maggot therapy to remove dead tissue from wounds may date back as far as the Old Testament. French physicians documented its value as early as the sixteenth century.
Just a few months ago, French researchers in Caen and Lyon studied this method of treating wounds and determined that it works faster than conventional treatment (Archives of Dermatology, online Dec. 19, 2011).