Not everything has to be synthetic prescribed drugs... About 10 million of the blood-sucking invertebrates are prescribed in Russia every year, offering many people an affordable alternative for blood-thinning medicines, the New York Times reported this weekend. Russia isn't the only place experiencing something of a leech revival. The blood-suckers are creeping back into clinics and hospitals around the world, including in the U.S.
About 6,000 leeches are used each year in the U.S., according to BioTherapeutics Education and Research Foundation, though not for treating heart-related issues as in Russia. Instead, leeches are used to help heal skin grafts, by draining pooled blood from under the graft and restoring blood circulation in blocked veins. They also remove excess blood from severed body parts that have been reattached.