To test the leeches' capacity and capabilities of performing leech therapy, check the following vital signs:
1. Pesence of a pronounced reflex contraction, i.e, when you touch the body, the leech becomes short, thick, firm and dense;
2) The should have a strong desire to crawl out of the vessel;
3) They should exert high level of activity: if the you lower your hand into the vessel, leechs immediately cling to you and begin to bite.
If the body of the leech becomes knotty, or on the surface it appears ulcers, or it becomes soft and unwilling to crawl up or latch on, then leech might be sick. In such cases, it must be quickly removed from the vessel and the water needs to be changed immediately. It would therefore be impossible to use that type of leech for therapy purposes.
Immediately prior to treatment, leeches should be placed with sterilized tweezers on a tray. Prepare a bottle of rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, a container of hot boiled water, sterile swabs, wipes, bandage plasters and cotton balls and wound dressing supplies. Before the procedure, the skin should be disinfected. Use disinfectants not only on that site, which will get the leeches, but around the area, be sure to shave or epilate the hair, wipe the skin with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, and then rub vigorously with sterile cotton pad soaked in hot water, changing 2-3 pads. Avoid the use of detergent, deodorants, soaps and shampoos in any case impossible. When you sterilize the area, firstly you will remove the smells that deter leeches from sucking and on the other hand, you will achieve good blood flow to the skin, which becomes warm, and the leech is readily to cling to it.
If the leech refuses to cling to the warm and clean skin of the patient, it should be replaced by another, using the vital-signs check described above. During treatment, if necessary, you may place the leech into a small glass or plastic tube, to ensure it latches onto the correct spot. Press the plastic or glass tube tightly to the skin and wait for the leech's mouth to dilate. At this point, you need to release the leech from the tubing and place a thin layer of sterile gauze, tissue or bandage material under its rear sucker. Attaching the leeches' back sucker lowers its sucking activity. You are then ready to move onto the next leech.
The leech will typically suck for a period 30 minutes to 1.5 hours from a person with healthy blood. Sometimes, the body sucking leech stops moving or slows down and the leech seems to be “asleep.” In those cases, we need to place along the length of her body several times to cotton pads soaked in warm water, after which it should resume active sucking action.