HealthWise at 5 From 3.12 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/12/04

HealthWise at 5 From 3.12

  • Hospital Differences

The study compared end of life care at the 77 hospitals named the country's best by U.S. News and World Report. Researchers say they found wide variations in everything from the number of doctor visits to time spent in intensive care. They note that the most care didn't always equate to the best outcome for patients. The study also adds to other research finding major differences in care even among hospitals in the same region or state. This study was conducted by researchers at Dartmouth College. It is published in British Medical Journal.

  • Paralysis Pain

Just because you're paralyzed and can't walk doesn't mean you can't feel pain. In fact, nearly 70% of spinal cord patients live with pain near or below the site of injury. But now University of Florida researchers say they've targeted critical neurons that appear to cause that chronic pain. Scientists were able to turn the damaged neurons off by treating the injured cord with a type of molecular poison. Although these benefits were first seen in laboratory animals, it appears that this method of molecular neurosurgery could one day help eliminate chronic pain for spinal cord injury patients.

"Molecular neurosurgery is something that we're hearing a lot more about and there's a good chance that in the future we could be seeing it used on a fairly widespread basis for the management of chronic pain conditions," explains Dr. Robert Yezierski, University of Florida Pain Researcher.

Paralyzed patients often describe the pain they feel as a burning sensation. It must be terrible because surveys show that 40% of those pain sufferers say they would choose pain relief over the possibility of walking again.

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