Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Renee Mabey


Debridement; Larva; Wound Healing


Maggot debridement therapy is the application of fly larvae to a necrotic wound. Once popular in the 1930s and1940s, its use declined with the introduction of antibiotics, improvement of aseptic wound care, more aggressive surgical debridement techniques, and its unacceptability by the public. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of maggot therapy, its clinical implications, and to review a medical chart of a Wyoming patient who received this treatment. The material is presented in one concise resource and the protocol included can be evaluated by other clinics using maggot therapy.

A medical chart review was completed of one patient who received maggot therapy two years ago in preparation for a skin graft after a grizzly bear attack. The history, biology, mechanisms of wound healing, indications/contraindications, clinical uses, dressing design, and the advantages and disadvantages of maggot therapy are reviewed. The client included, responded well to maggot therapy and the wound was prepared for the graft in a short period of time.

Maggot therapy is an old form of treatment that needs to be considered by more healthcare workers today for the treatment of non-healing wounds. If it were to be introduced earlier in treatments, rather than after other treatment techniques have failed, faster results may be gained.