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Driver sues Met Police after leg is saved by bloodsucking leeches

PUBLISHED: 08:00 25 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:04 05 October 2010

David... holding one of the bloodsucking leeches that saved his leg

David... holding one of the bloodsucking leeches that saved his leg

A TRUCKER treated with blood-sucking leeches to save his leg from amputation after falling from his lorry has won undisclosed damages in the High Court against the police. David Isitt fell 8ft when he was asked by a cop to climb on top of the load he was carrying

By Mike Brooke

A TRUCKER treated with blood-sucking leeches to save his leg from amputation after falling from his lorry has won six-figure undisclosed damages in the High Court against the police.

David Isitt fell 8ft when he was asked by a cop to climb on top of the load he was carrying after driving through the Blackwall Tunnel. He disputed the load was hazardous.

David was driving his tipper filled with hardcore to a recycling yard on a rainy day when he was stopped.

The father-of-two from Millwall, on the Isle of Dogs, was asked to climb onto the pile of rubble so the officer who stopped him could point out how unsafe it was.

But he slipped and fell off the side, ending up with multiple fractures so serious that he nearly lost his leg.

The 52-year-old had to have leech’ therapy to stop gangrene setting in, after the accident in March, 2007.

He sued the Met Police for injury and loss of earnings. The Met denied liability, but settled before the hearing began.

David was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel after the accident and had several major operations.

But it was a squad of 30 leeches which save his leg by sucking blood out of a large skin flap in his leg where the cells were struggling’ to survive, the East London Advertiser reported at the time. His skin had started going blue, a dangerous sign that there was no blood flowing.

“It was really quite a worrying time,” David admitted after his treatment. “I was worried the skin would die or might become infected.”

That’s when the leeches took over, drawing blood away from the skin which allowed it to survive long enough for the veins to start working again.

For the squeamish, the bloodsucker’s bite is painless because it emits a local anaesthetic’ and an anti-coagulant. It can consume up to five times its weight in blood before dropping off the patient.

Nurses put one leech at a time on David’s leg until it had all the blood it wanted, before sliding off and being dispose of as clinical waste.’

Another would then be popped on his leg to carry on the good work.

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