How Much Does It Hurt?
Zohydro is the new FDA-approved painkiller that some doctors think the FDA had no business approving. And in ERs across America, they’re anxiously awaiting the fallout.
In pain and forced to use a wheelchair, a young woman opts to amputate her clubfeet.
"New prosthetics have made active life possible for many with injuries and congenital defects." [Via]
Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain.
"The pain of women turns them into kittens and rabbits and sunsets and sordid red satin goddesses, pales them and bloodies them and starves them, delivers them to death camps and sends locks of their hair to the stars. Men put them on trains and under them. Violence turns them celestial. Age turns them old. We can’t look away. We can’t stop imagining new ways for them to hurt." [more inside]
The worst places to get stung by a bee
"It started when a honeybee flew up Michael Smith’s shorts and stung him in the testicles." Smith's painstaking study adds another dimension to the well-researched Schmidt Sting Pain Index
Do invertebrates feel pain?
"Boiled alive and torn limb from limb – it's time we took seriously the question of whether animals like squid, octopus and lobsters suffer"
When you get a headache, you're faced with the Big Three options for over-the-counter pain relief: aspirin, acetaminophen (paracetamol) or ibuprofen. But which is best, according to the latest scientific evidence? And what's the best for toothache, back pain, period pain or musculoskeletal injuries? A pain specialist explains who the winners are in each main category.
"After she passed, the chimps examined the body, inspecting Pansy’s mouth, pulling her arm and leaning their faces close to hers. Blossom sat by Pansy’s body through the night. And when she finally moved away to sleep in a different part of the enclosure, she did so fitfully, waking and repositioning herself dozens more times than was normal. For five days after Pansy’s death, none of the other chimps would sleep on the platform where she died."—
"Want to Understand Mortality? Look to the Chimps
", by Maggie Koerth-Baker
in the NYT [more inside]
"You will not find a group less in favor of automatically aggressive, invasive medical care than intensive care nurses, because we see the pointless suffering it often causes in patients and families. Intensive care is at best a temporary detour during which a patient’s instability is monitored, analyzed, and corrected, but it is at worst a high tech torture chamber, a taste of hell during a person’s last days on earth.
Clinical assistant professor of kinesiology Chris Geiser at Marquette University explains why it hurts so damn much when you stub your toe
The perils of chronic pain in recovery
: As a sober addict prescribed Oxycodone, comedian Amy Dresner
was careful to follow doctor's orders. Then her disease kicked in.
Tara Parker-Pope of the New York Times reported
on a study from the Annals of Internal Medicine
that found chiropractic manipulation to be more effective than medication in relieving acute and subacute neck pain
. Light exercise worked too. No adverse effects were reported.
Dr. Justin O. Schmidt likes insects of the persuasive sort, the ones that bite, sting or squirt venom in your eyes
. In the course of his entomological studies all over the world, he has met the defenses of about 150 different insects
, and he has rated them, creating the Schmidt Sting Pain Index
. On the low end: sweat bees, whose sting is "light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm." On the high end: Bullet ants, whose venomous bites cause "pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel." And it can last for hours, leaving you "quivering and still screaming from these peristaltic waves" [of pain]. [more inside]
Bob was sick
He didn't take
it the way you or I might. He got
pissed off. And he took it personally
. [more inside]
— Ze Frank posted a phone number and asked that anyone experiencing emotional pain leave him a message. He received a number of very distraught messages. From those, DJs and musicians created 138 samples for him—and those samples have since been made into songs—and the collaborative process continues.
You may know it as acetaminophen, paracetamol, APAP, or ... Tylenol. Today an FDA advisory panel recommended banning prescription drugs that contain acetaminophen, such as vicodin and percocet.
The panel of experts also voted to give acetaminophen a black box warning
, and reduce the maximum dosage of over-the-counter formulations. Acetaminophen is a popular painkiller by itself and, in combination with opiates, is the most commonly prescribed medication
in the US. [more inside]
The day pain died.
"The date of the first operation under anesthetic, Oct. 16, 1846, ranks among the most iconic in the history of medicine. It was the moment when Boston, and indeed the United States, first emerged as a world-class center of medical innovation. The room at the heart of Massachusetts General Hospital where the operation took place has been known ever since as the Ether Dome, and the word 'anesthesia' itself was coined by the Boston physician and poet Oliver Wendell Holmes to denote the strange new state of suspended consciousness that the city's physicians had witnessed. The news from Boston swept around the world, and it was recognized within weeks as a moment that had changed medicine forever." [Via]
The idea of Hypnosis and Pain Management
has been around a bit
Now British surgeons are being advised to hypnotise patients
for some operations.
The Mayo Clinic
: Another Way to manage Pain; and as explained by the American Pain Foundation
; also Hypnotic Approaches in the Cancer Patient
. If this were a drug, everyone
would be using it.
(previously 1, 2 (links dead, discusssion only)
At the Toronto Humane Society, veterinarians say
animals die suffering unnecessarily in their cages while pleas to euthanize them are dismissed. Dozens of staff, volunteers and veterinarians have quit in protest. ... A note written by a staff member or volunteer on the medical chart of a cat, animal ID A127495, admitted last fall, reads: "Died Oct 19 3:15 am. Gasped and jerked and cried last breaths, because there was no one in shelter to euthanize or treat. This is not humane." ... [THS president] Mr. Trow says he strives to keep euthanasia rates low for ethical reasons. “How can anyone suggest that, because he might be here longer than anyone would want, that it's better to put [a dog] down?” Mr. Trow asked. “I think that's a strange suggestion, don't you? You live here as long as you can.” Images (yes, they're disturbing.) Video of a puppy adopted out with a broken leg. The THS web site. [more inside]
1980s pop music hasbeen + swing big band = OMIGOD NO MAKE IT STOP.
A Medical Madoff: Anesthesiologist Faked Data in 21 Studies.
"A pioneering anesthesiologist has been implicated in a massive research fraud that has altered the way millions of patients are treated for pain during and after orthopedic surgeries."
Researchers have known for several years now that video games can distract people from pain
. Now one virtual-reality game, developed for burn patients
, has added a conceptual boost to this idea; the action takes place in a snowy landscape populated by penguins and snowmen. Wounded soldiers who have played the game (wearing VR goggles to help block out the sight of their burns being treated) report a reduction in pain of 30-50%
"Patients reported feeling less pain
when playing Snow World, and had greater range of motion in their burnt limbs as their muscles relaxed. Less pain medication was also required, meaning patients were lucid for longer periods of time."
In this video
, one wounded vet talks about how the game has helped him.
You Walk Wrong.
"It took 4 million years of evolution to perfect the human foot. But we’re wrecking it with every step we take." [Via]
Doctors successfully removed a two-inch nail from a man's genitals yesterday.
Doctors pulled the nail out of his urethra on their first attempt and later said the man could have died if the object had not been spotted on X-ray. The man had admitted himself to SMC on Sunday night with extreme abdominal pain and was unable to speak.
The man told doctors the last thing he remembered was having something sprayed in his face and being fondled by one of his assailants before he blacked out. [more inside]
Is fibromyalgia a useful way of categorizing the illnesses
experienced by several million
Americans? The doctor
who pioneered the study and characterization of the illness no longer
thinks it exists as a distinct entity
, and other experts agree
. People who've been diagnosed with the disorder experience real pain
, and are comforted by being able to put a name to their illness, but their doctors often think they'd have been better off without the diagnosis
. [more inside]
When the working poor turn to addictive drugs to manage pain so they can keep working, that's "moral weakness, not a public health problem."
Every morning before sunup, Trapp drives 120 miles.... "This methadone makes you feel like a human being again," Trapp says. With disability rates as high as 37 percent in coal-mining areas such as Buchanan County, the region has many people with long-term pain management needs. As is the case with lots of aging miners, Trapp's addiction to pills began in a doctor's office, not a back-alley drug deal.... The clinic's counseling staff members say that many patients need to be on some sort of drug to cope with severe, long-term pain and that methadone has made them functional. And for those who lack insurance or access to more personalized care, it is often the only affordable option. [more inside]
Richard Paey Speaks
- An interview with the paraplegic man sentenced
to 25 years in prison for treating his own pain, but now out after a full pardon by the Florida Governor. [more inside]
was a former concert pianist and systems analyst who suffered from an autoimmune disease similar to lupus for over 20 years. The disease left her in constant pain
and made her allergic to most pharmaceutical painkillers. Only medical marijuana brought her relief, but last spring the DEA seized her medicine. Unable to cope with the chronic pain any longer, she committed suicide
on October 18th
. [Via Andrew Sullivan.]
Drugs Banned, Many of World’s Poor Suffer in Pain
"Millions of people die in pain
because they cannot get morphine, which is legal for medical use in most nations." [Via TalkLeft.]
Recognizing Pain Management
as a Fundamental Human Right
. These pieces from the journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society
argue that under-treated chronic pain
is becoming a public health crisis which must be addressed. But a warning to pain doctors in the U.S. who prescribe opioids
in doses that seem high to narcotics agents and prosecutors: “Be afraid.” [Via Hit & Run and TalkLeft.]
Pay to shock a man, or to prevent him from being shocked.
MeFi's own bleucube
wears an electric dog collar for a study in...well...shocking a man, or preventing him from being shocked. Shall good or evil prevail - charity or malice? It's all on the line. And by "on the line," I mean "available for $1-4 a pop." 10% of the proceeds go to charity. The other 90% go to being awesome. Via Projects.
"Doctor, it hurts when I do that."
Doctors and patients agree - doctors are lousy when it comes to recognizing, diagnosing and treating pain. The AMA developed this free Continuing Medical Education tool (requires Flash) to help docs learn and understand how to deal with pain - but other folks, folks who are now in pain or might someday be in pain, might find it quite interesting as well. All docs in California have to complete this seminar or a similar one by the end of 2006 to get relicensed; the hope is that this will help the docs and the patients who have to deal with pain on a daily basis.
British nurses want patients who are intent on harming
themselves to be provided with clean blades so that they can cut themselves more safely.
You got owned
... an entertaining study of life's little mishaps on video. Some you've seen, some you may not have. (wmv)
The Painful Truth.
"The Iraq war is a new kind of hell, with more survivors - but more maimed, shattered limbs - than ever. A revolution in battlefield medicine is helping them conquer the pain."