Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered that treating the immune system of patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CPRS) leads to a significant reduction in pain. CRPS is an unexplained chronic pain condition that usually develops after an injury or trauma to a limb, and continues after the injury has healed. CPRS I - formerly called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy - can arise after any type of injury. CRPS II, previously called causalgia (a term coined in the American Civil War when it was first diagnosed), follows partial damage to a nerve. In some cases the pain can be so severe that patients request amputation, only to find that the pain returns in the stump.
Is it possible for cardiac surgery teams to completely eliminate medical errors? That's the goal of an ambitious project-called the "Flawless Operative Cardiovascular Unified Systems" (FOCUS) initiative-being undertaken by the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA). An introduction and update on the FOCUS initiative appears in a special article in the February 2010 issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, the official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) and the SCA. "Preventing humans from making mistakes may be nearly impossible, but the SCA FOCUS initiative is predicated on the strong belief that making an error-free medical environment can be achieved, " comments Dr.
More and more Americans with chronic pain not caused by cancer are taking medically prescribed opioids like Oxycontin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone). The January 19 Annals of Internal Medicine features the first study to explore the risk of overdose in patients prescribed opioids for chronic noncancer pain in general health care. The study links risk of fatal and nonfatal opioid overdose to prescription use - strongly associating the risk with the prescribed dose. A team led by Michael Von Korff, ScD, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute, studied nearly 10, 000 patients who received multiple opioid prescriptions for common chronic pain conditions like back pain and osteoarthritis.
Coping with chronic non-cancer pain is a way of life for millions of Americans. Unfortunately, many older adults, in particular, hesitate to take opioids a kind of narcotic for fear of addiction. However, a new review finds that taking opioids long term is associated with clinically significant pain relief in some patients with a very small risk of addition. "Not every patient has adequate pain relief, though, and side effects are intolerable for others, " said lead review author Meredith Noble. "There is a lack of consensus that opioids are safe and effective for people with chronic severe non-cancer pain, " Noble said. "We wanted to look at studies that treated people for six months or longer, given that chronic pain can go on for years.
A common complication following surgery in elderly patients is postoperative delirium, a state of confusion that can lead to long-term health problems and cause some elderly patients to complain that they "never felt the same" again after an operation. But a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests that simply limiting the depth of sedation during procedures could safely cut the risk of postoperative delirium by 50 percent. "Merely by adjusting how a person is sedated can have a profound effect on their postoperative cognitive state, " says study leader Frederick E. Sieber, M.D., an associate professor of anesthesia at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Morphine Sulfate Oral Solution for the relief of moderate to severe, acute and chronic pain in opioid-tolerant patients. This medicine will be available in 100 milligrams per 5 mL or 20 milligrams per 1 mL. This is the only FDA approved morphine sulfate oral solution available at this concentration. Although the use of this medicine to manage pain has been common practice for many years, this form and concentration of morphine was not FDA approved until now. Today's action is part of the FDA's unapproved drugs initiative. As part of this program, the FDA has worked with the manufacturer of the now-approved product, Roxane Laboratories, to ensure that there is enough drug available for patients.