Saturday, February 23, 2008

Guest Blogger Eric Kuhn from CBS News on Easing the Pain

Hey, so we got an email from Eric at CBS. He wanted to tell us about a series CBS is doing on pain-- too late to watch, but I'll put up his synopsis and links. Cool stuff. And Eric, remember us when the Shrink Rappers get the book together!

Eric writes:
I have been reading your blog and think it is great. I thought you might be interested in a story that we are doing this week about pain.

February 19 – 21

Dr. Jon LaPook reported on a new kind of nerve stimulator in the final stage of FDA trials to treat pain. It's a headset that pulses electric currents to the back of the head and users say it works miracles to stop the throbbing. We follow a man with excruciating knee pain for a week of treatment to see firsthand what a difference it makes. It works because electrical currents somehow change the brain's perception of pain. Check it out the story that aired here -

Dr. Jon LaPook examined the newest aspect of pain management, which are drugs that are called "Abuse Deterrent Opiates". These drugs can help prevent people from getting physically dependent on opiates, because they don't work if they're crushed and taken improperly. Doctors face a huge dilemma when trying to balance treatment and risk of addiction at the bedside. We'll meet people you'd never expect to become addicts, but who wound up getting hooked. We'll meet others for whom this new drug relieves the pain without risking addiction. Check it out here -

Thursday: BABIES' PAIN
CNN's Dr. Sanja Gupta reports on how there is no gold standard for measuring pain and discomfort in babies, especially newborns…however there is a clinical trial of a facial recognition technology to identify pain in infants. The initial research used photographs of infant faces but now there is research using video images. Catch this TONIGHT on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric at 6:30 PM EST.


Anonymous said...

That was nice of you to scratch Eric's back.

Midwife with a Knife said...

WRT babies pain, one of the things that I worry most about with our extremely premature babies is that they will have a very long and painful hospital stay. I worry that even though they won't remember it, it still could affect them for the rest of their lives.

Sarebear said...

Very interesting stuff!

NeoNurseChic said...

MWWAK - They may not psychologically remember it, but I believe they physically remember it forever. :( While pain is addressed much better than it was years ago, there is still so much more we need to be doing. It's just so difficult because of the necessary things we must do to save them, the desire to avoid overmedicating a developing neurological system, and so on. Neonatal pain breaks my heart.

Dinah - Nice plug for Eric Kuhn. I haven't checked out the links yet, but I intend to. Nerve stimulators are obviously interesting to me as I'm about to get mine in a couple of months. Abuse proof drugs sounds like an interesting topic. And neonatal pain? Obviously very important to me! I actually have particular interest in the article on that because most hospitals pick a pain scale for the NICU and stick with it. For instance, if you use the PIPP scale (Premature Infant Pain Profile), it is used for all babies in the NICU in most cases. However, not all NICU babies are premature - and many of the ones who initially were premature are now past that gestational age. For the behavior portion of the PIPP scale, you have to almost flip the scores in your head because an active/crying infant in prematurity is a sign of strength, but an infant who is constantly active and crying at term gestation may be having some pain or discomfort. In preemies, a relaxed, quiet, still infant means they're wiped out and perhaps sick or anemic. In term infants, a relaxed sleeping baby is a sign of comfort and normalcy. So I will definitely read up on this new scale to see how it fits across all gestations, as I think that is a definite problem in measuring neonatal pain.

Take care,
Carrie :)

(And no, I haven't been up all night as it's 4:30am now - I just woke up a half hour ago and couldn't get back to sleep...)