Wound dressing after application of medicinal leeches is divided into two parts. The first part concerns the period when a leech does not fall off. In this case we are talking about a partial treating the wound, the aim of which is to prevent blood flow on the patient’s body. You can use gauze pads, wool or cotton swabs to treat the wound. After a leech drops off, the wound is not yet ready for final dressing, since you must first insert a leech into the prepared container and attach dressing to the wound. The aim is not to stop the bleeding, because bleeding that occurred after the application of a medicinal leech has its special significance. Gauze or cotton wool as absorbent material takes the drained blood and prevents leakage on the patient’s skin, so it will not dirty the area around.
Many hot disputes arose on the use of sterile materials. In general, sterile material is recommended. In the centers practicing hirudotherapy, I often encountered cases of using not a sterile wound dressing, as a leech treats the wound itself, and there is no threat of infection within 24 hours. This procedure is tested in this way on thousands of patients. In the opposite case, each physician will always insist on the application of sterile material directly to the wound which can always be explained.
The difference in time when the first and the last leech drops off makes about 20 – 30 minutes. While you wait till the rest leeches drop off, you’re supposed to observe the swabs on the wounds. Sometimes it happens that some of the tampons are filled up with blood, and it starts running down the patient’s skin. Then you should wipe the blood and change the swab to a new one. That is how we control and treat all the wounds from the leeches that have already dropped off till the last leech lets it go. You can then proceed to the next step, i.e. the final treatment of the wound.