3192. Leeches, Hirudines, Are Very Commonly Employed As Agents For Local Blood-Letting

In many local or chronic forms of inflammation and in diseases of infants, leeches are preferable to cupping or general bleeding; possessing the advantage of being easily applied on the seat of disease, or in its immediate vicinity. Local blood-letting is employed for the relief of local inflammations and congestions: 1, where the condition of the patient and the gravity of the affection does not warrant general blood-letting; 2, as an auxiliary to general blood-letting. In the modern treatment of disease, the local abstraction of blood is employed in many cases where venAesection would have been formerly used. Cupping should be preferred to leeches, - 1, when we desire to draw blood rapidly; 2, when we desire accurately to ascertain the quantity of blood drawn; 3, when it is desirable to make an impression on the system.

* Clin. Lect., vols. i. and ii. Clinique Chir., t. iv. p. 470.

Ranking's Abstract, vol. xiii. p. 291, 1S51. § Clin. Lect,, vol. ii. p. 356.