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The therapeutic use of leeches (hirudotherapy) is based on the properties of hirudin secreted by the salivary glands of leeches. Hirudin reduces blood coagulation, has an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect. Hirudotherapy is indicated for hypertension, angina pectoris, glaucoma, thrombophlebitis, hemorrhoids, etc. For medicinal purposes, specially bred medical leeches are used.
Treatment with leeches is carried out by a specially trained nurse. In each case, there is a certain scheme for setting leeches. After the procedure, it should be borne in mind that the wounds from bites bleed for 6-24 hours, therefore, a day after hirudotherapy, a nurse needs to examine the wound and dress it again; if bleeding has not stopped, hemostatic agents are used.
Contraindications to the appointment of leeches are diseases in which blood coagulation and blood pressure, anemia, exhaustion, sepsis are reduced.