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‘Extreme Pain, but Also Extreme Joy’

Unlike Brown, Almodovar did not have the unmedicated birth she had hoped for. She labored for 17 hours at Perez’s birthing center, but the baby wasn’t progressing. Eventually, she decided to go to the hospital.

Panicked, she and her husband raced to the entrance and accidentally left their hospital bag in the car.

But once she was there, she said, “I felt really safe.”

After getting an epidural, “I felt calm and I felt at peace,” Almodovar said. “I was not worried about Covid at all, I just didn’t even think about it.”

She pushed for eight hours, but the baby, while not in distress, was not descending. The nurses told Almodovar that she could either keep pushing or choose to have a cesarean section. Eventually, Almodovar opted for the surgery and delivered a healthy girl.

Now, three months later, her scar is a little sore, but she’s otherwise feeling well. She said she doesn’t have any regrets about having gone to the hospital, and has found some solace in having retained control over her birth plan.

Another mother, Jes Anderson, had also tried to do an unmedicated birth, but was similarly transferred to the hospital after her labor didn’t progress. Her midwife, Drucker, had hospital admission privileges and continued to assist Anderson, who received an epidural and pushed for six more hours before delivering her first child, a boy.

“I never wanted to go to the hospital, but I’m grateful it was there,” said Anderson, who labored for a total of 31 hours.

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Acupuncture before surgery may reduce pain, opioid use

A new pilot study concludes that using acupuncture before surgery can reduce a person’s need for opioids following surgery. The Detroit-based researchers believe that acupuncture is a low-cost, safe method that reduces pain and anxiety in some people.

In the United States, the opioid crisis claimed the lives of 47,000 people in 2018, and almost a third of those deaths involved prescription opioids.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2018, two-thirds of drug overdose deaths involved an opioid. A 2018 report from Substances Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that 10.3 million people in the U.S. aged 12 or older misused opioids in the past year.

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin and the prescription drug fentanyl. Other prescription opioids include oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and codeine.

According to a 2017 paper, over 80% of people receive a prescription for opioids after low-risk surgery. Almost 87% of these prescriptions include oxycodone or hydrocodone, which are the most common culprits in drug overdose deaths.

Doctors often use these opioids in inpatient settings and prescribe them to people when they leave the hospital.

In 2020, researchers found that opioid-related overdoses are 28% higher than reported because of incomplete death records.

Veterans are twice as likely to die from an accidental overdose compared with the general U.S. population. One study showed that the number of veterans’ who died due to an opioid overdose increased by 65% from 2010 to 2016.

In light of this opioid epidemic, there is an urgent need to decrease opioid use before or during surgeries.

In a recent pilot study, a team of researchers evaluated the efficacy of two different acupuncture techniques before a group of veterans underwent surgeries: battlefield acupuncture and traditional acupuncture.

They presented their findings at the Anesthesiology 2020 annual meeting in Chicago, IL, on October 5.

The researchers conducted two experiments. In the first, they divided participants into two groups of 21 veterans due to undergo hip replacement surgery.

The first group received traditional acupuncture before their surgery, and the second group received sham acupuncture. Sham acupuncture, or placebo acupuncture, mimics acupuncture.

People in the control group needed an average of 56 of morphine milligram equivalent (MME) in the first 24 hours after surgery. MME is a method of calculating a patient’s cumulative intake of any opioid drugs over 24 hours.

In comparison, those who had traditional acupuncture received an average of only 20.4 MME. Almost two-hirds less than the control group.

The veterans who underwent traditional acupuncture also reported higher satisfaction with their pain management 24 hours post-surgery.

After rating their treatment satisfaction on a scale of 1–10, those who had acupuncture reported less pain. They also experienced 15% less anxiety than the control group, although this was not statistically significant.

In the second experiment, 28 veterans scheduled for general surgery procedures received battlefield acupuncture. In the control group, 36 participants received sham acupuncture.

Battlefield acupuncture involves putting needles on ear acupoints.

Pain Pill Abuse Higher in Adolescent CBD Oil Users

Adolescent users of cannabidiol (CBD) oil are far more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors ― such as illegally taking prescription pain medications ― than peers who don’t use CBD, new research indicates.

The study, which included data on 200 youths aged 12 to 23 years, also suggests that 4 in 10 use CBD oil products. Users also reported experiencing increased anxiety over the prior 6 months, but the researchers couldn’t pinpoint whether CBD oil, which is marketed for anxiety relief, might contribute to participants’ anxiety levels.



Nicole Cumbo

“A lot of kids don’t talk to their clinicians about CBD” use, said study author Nicole Cumbo, BS, a third-year medical student at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“It’s important to ask kids if they’re using CBD, along with vaping and marijuana use, because it could be causing them more problems than it helps,” Cumbo told Medscape Medical News. “Monitoring for dangerous behaviors in their social history is important. Since we were able to see a correlation between risk-taking behaviors, we should ask kids about risk-taking behaviors as well.”

Touted as a panacea for conditions ranging from insomnia to muscle aches to low mood and more, CBD oil products have become ubiquitous across the United States, Cumbo noted. “Even if you go to a gas station, you see it,” she said. “It’s growing prevalence is apparent, but we weren’t sure what we’d see in our pediatric population.”

Cumbo and colleagues administered questionnaires to adolescents who presented for medical care to a level 1 pediatric trauma center/emergency department affiliated with a children’s hospital in central Pennsylvania. The questionnaire asked about demographics, risk-taking behaviors, and use of CBD oil products. The survey also asked participants about clinical symptoms experienced over the prior 6 months, along with their views on the perceived benefits of using CBD oil.

The average age of the participants was 17.6 years, and 63% were female. Forty percent reported CBD oil use. Compared to nonusers, among those who used CBD oil, there was significantly greater use of prescription medications without a prescription (19% vs 6%; P = .002), as well as greater use of cigarettes (40% vs 8%; P < .0001), chewing tobacco (18% vs 1%; P < .0001), and cigars (30% vs 3%; P < .0001).

No significant differences were found between CBD users and nonusers in symptoms such as chest pain, racing heart, difficulty breathing/cough, dizziness, abdominal discomfort, nausea/vomiting, headache, tremors, sleep disturbances, or dehydration over the prior 6 months.

However, those who used CBD were more likely to report experiencing an increase in anxiety over the prior 6 months (66% vs 47%; P = .009).

Regarding their perceived beliefs about CBD oil, 69% said it is “safer than other drugs,” 33% said it’s “just for fun,” and 48% said it can “help treat my medical illness.” Participants reported that myths about CBD oil include the notions that it’s a gateway drug and that it’s addictive.

“I think there’s a disconnect in

Wig-Looking Poisonous Caterpillars Can Inflict Pain, Officials Warn

First, it was murder hornets. Now it’s stinging caterpillars.

As if there wasn’t enough to worry about in 2020, foresters in Virginia are warning that if you see a caterpillar that looks like a wig on a tree, don’t touch it.

The Virginia Department of Forestry said it had received reports of hairy-looking puss caterpillars in eastern Virginia. Its hairs are attached to a poisonous gland, said Eric Day, of Virginia Tech’s Insect Identification Lab.

Touching it could cause a painful reaction, the severity of which can vary, Mr. Day said. Other symptoms can include pain that comes in waves, a rash, fever, muscle cramps or swollen glands, according to the University of Michigan.

Symptoms should be monitored and people who are stung should use their own judgment about seeking medical attention, Mr. Day said.

He recommended taking a picture of the caterpillar and showing a doctor if symptoms worsen.

In people with severe reactions, “you’d think it was a much bigger critter,” Mr. Day said.

It’s also known as the southern flannel moth, but this caterpillar’s moth stage is nothing to worry about, Mr. Day said.

“The larva of this species is entirely covered by a thick carpet of long grayish-tan to dark brown hairs with a rusty stripe down the center of the back” and over all resembles a tiny mouse, Virginia Tech said in a fact sheet about the caterpillar.

These caterpillars, which eat oak and elm leaves, are typically found in parks or near structures, foresters said. It’s one of several stinging caterpillars in the country.

The warning from Virginia foresters comes a few months after Asian giant hornets, known as murder hornets, resurfaced in the Pacific Northwest. Though this hornet craves bee carcasses, its potent stinger has been linked to up to 50 human deaths a year in Japan.

In September, a New Kent County, Va., woman said she felt a pain in her right leg from a puss caterpillar after she reached into her car, The Daily Progress reported. She went to an emergency room, and it took three days for her to feel normal again.

“It felt exactly like a scorching-hot knife passing through the outside of my calf,” said the woman, Crystal Spindel Gaston. “Before I looked down to see where it came from, I thought 100 percent, I was going to see a big piece of metal, super sharp, sticking out from my car.”

It’s normal for Mr. Day to get reports of a few puss caterpillars a year but he’s already received about 20 inquiries — 10 times what he usually gets. He said it’s too early to tell if the numbers have been influenced by climate change but added that warmer summers and winters help the caterpillars.

“Outbreak is a big word, but the numbers are much higher,” Mr. Day said. “And definitely the number of reports are much higher.”

Puss caterpillars may have had the opportunity to feed and grow because predators that customarily keep them in check,

Many Using Cannabis for Pain Take Opioids, Too | Health News

By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

THURSDAY, Oct. 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — People using cannabis for pain may still be taking opioid painkillers, a new study suggests.

Researchers looked at cannabis and nonprescription opioid use among 211 individuals in the New York City area. Over 90 days, the investigators found that opioid use was at least as high when cannabis was used as when it wasn’t, regardless of participants’ pain levels.

“Our study is among the first to test opioid substitution directly, suggesting that cannabis seldom serves as a substitute for nonmedical opioids among opioid-using adults, even among those who report experiencing moderate or more severe pain,” said researcher Deborah Hasin. She’s a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City.

“In other words, our study suggests that cannabis is not an effective way to limit nonmedical opioid use,” Hasin added in a news release from the Society for the Study of Addiction.

In 2017, more than 2 million Americans suffered from opioid addiction, and more than 70,000 died from the painkillers, the researchers pointed out in background notes.

Opioid use — including nonmedical use of prescription opioids, synthetic opioids and heroin — is the main cause of overdose deaths. How cannabis may change nonmedical opioid use is critical to understanding how cannabis-based interventions can affect the opioid crisis, the researchers said.

The report was published Oct. 8 in the journal Addiction.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Experiencing physical pain can cause you to overspend

<span class="caption">Spending money can seem a bit easier when you're in physical pain.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://unsplash.com/photos/lvWw_G8tKsk" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash">Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash</a>, <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:CC BY-SA">CC BY-SA</a></span>
Spending money can seem a bit easier when you’re in physical pain. Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash, CC BY-SA

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The big idea

Suffering from pain causes consumers to spend more money than they otherwise would – perhaps 20% more – according to new research I conducted. This is based on the idea of what marketing scholars call the “pain of paying.” It “hurts” when we give our hard-earned money to the cashier, even if doing so means receiving a product or service in kind. It’s a pain that’s both emotional and detectable in neurological scans, but physical pain can mute it.

In a series of studies, I found that being in physical anguish reduces the pain of paying, and so people end up spending more money. In one study, participants were asked to place their hands in cold water, a common technique to induce pain, and view a computer mouse for sale on a screen. I found that people experiencing mild discomfort were 67% more likely to be interested in buying the mouse than those whose hands remained dry and pain-free. In another study conducted in Melbourne, Australia, people going in and out of a dentist’s office were offered a coffee mug and asked how much they’d be willing to pay for it, from nothing to AU$12. People coming out of the office, who were more likely to be in pain because of their procedures, offered to pay an average of AU$4.42 for the mug, while those entering offered to pay AU$3.67.

Because the same area of the human brain processes all sorts of pain, being in physical pain takes up more of the brain’s resources, making it harder to process – and feel – other types of discomfort, such as emotional pain one might feel from being socially rejected by others, and the pain of paying for things.

<span class="caption">The feeling of discomfort when handing over our hard-earned cash is called the ‘pain of paying.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://unsplash.com/photos/eBW1nlFdZFw" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Tbel Abuseridze/Unsplash">Tbel Abuseridze/Unsplash</a>, <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:CC BY-SA">CC BY-SA</a></span>
The feeling of discomfort when handing over our hard-earned cash is called the ‘pain of paying. Tbel Abuseridze/Unsplash, CC BY-SA

Why it matters

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans – about 65 million – experiences chronic pain, with similar shares in Europe, Australia and China.

Past research has studied how pain lowers life satisfaction and psychological well-being. But I couldn’t find any studies that looked at how pain affects consumer behavior, which is important because, after all, people in pain still need to make decisions about what to buy every day.

[Expertise in your inbox. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter and get expert takes on today’s news, every day.]

I believe that my findings are important for another reason. The pain of paying helps us avoid overspending. “Retail therapy” can be common during tough times like the pandemic, and the plethora of discounts and instant gratification when shopping online can be tempting. My findings suggest that people in physical pain may be more susceptible to surge pricing and other marketing tricks that get people to spend more money. Americans

Knopp Biosciences NIH-Funded Pain Program Advances to Second Year of HEAL Award to Discover Non-Opioid Treatments for Chronic Pain

Knopp Biosciences LLC today announced that it entered the second year of research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to utilize its Kv7 platform to discover and develop non-opioid therapies for the treatment of chronic pain. The project is funded by the NIH program called Helping to End Addiction Long-term (the NIH HEAL Initiative), which aims to improve treatments for chronic pain, curb the rates of opioid use disorder and overdose, and achieve long-term recovery from opioid addiction.

Knopp has developed a discovery platform of proprietary molecules directed to a non-opioid biological target linked to chronic pain caused by damage to nerves. The drug target is a cellular membrane potassium channel called Kv7.2/7.3, which regulates the flow of electrically charged ions required to modulate the excitability of cells. Growing scientific evidence suggests that selectively activating key Kv7 channel subtypes can control nerve-cell hyperexcitability associated with chronic pain.

“Knopp is pleased that the achievement of year one milestones positioned the company to continue research on solutions for this public health crisis,” said Michael Bozik, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Knopp. “In year two, we expect to identify a molecule from our Kv7 platform that is suitable for further development as a potential non-opioid treatment for patients suffering from certain types of chronic pain.”

The grant funding of as much as $8 million is contingent upon the attainment of milestones over five years. Knopp’s HEAL award was one of 375 grants made across 41 states in fiscal year 2019 to apply scientific solutions to help reverse the national opioid crisis.

Knopp’s Kv7 research is supported in part under Award Number U44NS093160 and Award Number U44NS115732 of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the NIH. The content of this announcement is solely the responsibility of Knopp and does not necessarily represent the views of the NIH.

ABOUT KNOPP BIOSCIENCES LLC

Knopp Biosciences is a privately held drug discovery and development company focused on delivering breakthrough treatments for immunological and neurological diseases of high unmet need. Knopp’s clinical-stage oral small molecule, dexpramipexole, is in Phase 2 clinical trials in moderate-to-severe eosinophilic asthma. Knopp’s preclinical Kv7 platform is directed to small molecule treatments for developmental and epileptic encephalopathies, other rare epilepsies, neuropathic pain, and tinnitus. Please visit www.knoppbio.com.

ABOUT THE NIH HEAL INITIATIVE

The Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM Initiative, or NIH HEAL InitiativeSM, is an aggressive, trans-NIH effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. Launched in April 2018, the initiative is focused on improving prevention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse and addiction, and enhancing pain management. For more information, visit: https://heal.nih.gov.

This press release contains “forward-looking statements,” including statements relating to planned regulatory filings and clinical development programs. All forward-looking statements are based on management’s current assumptions and expectations and involve risks, uncertainties and other important factors, specifically including the uncertainties inherent in clinical trials and product development programs, the availability of funding to support continued research

Study: Veterans with acupuncture before surgery have less pain

Oct. 5 (UPI) — Veterans who have acupuncture before surgery reported less need for opioids for pain, a pilot study presented Monday at the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2020 meeting shows.

“Six percent of patients given opioids after surgery become dependent on them, and veterans are twice as likely to die from accidental overdoses than civilians,” said study lead author Dr. Brinda Krish,.

“Clearly it is crucial to have multiple options for treating pain, and acupuncture is an excellent alternative. It is safe, cost effective and it works,” said Krish, an anesthesiology resident at Detroit Medical Center.

Researchers analyzed two groups of patients treated at John D. VA Medical Center in Detroit. The study’s principal investigator, physician anesthesiologist Dr. Padmavathi Patel, provided the acupuncture.

The first group included 21 patients who had traditional acupuncture, which involves the insertion of very thin needles at specific trigger points around the body to relieve pain, and 21 patients who did not.

The second group included 28 patients who received battlefield acupuncture, which a U.S. Air Force doctor developed to reduce pain without use of opioids on the front lines, and 36 patients in control group.

In both acupuncture groups, veterans reported significant reduction in post-operative pain and post-operative opioid use compared to control patients undergoing surgery without acupuncture.

“Some patients were open to trying acupuncture right away, and others became more interested when they learned more about the risk of opioid use,” Krish said.

“It’s easy, patients love it, it’s not just another medicine and it’s very safe. Because battlefield acupuncture was developed by an armed services doctor, veterans also were more willing to participate.”

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Trump Tests Positive; Gilead Sells Remdesivir Direct; COVID Kills Pain?

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President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced they both tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently quarantining together. (MedPage Today)

Trump’s announcement on Twitter came just a few hours after one of his closest aides, Hope Hicks, tested positive as well. (Bloomberg)

However, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen tested negative this morning, the VP’s press secretary tweeted.

This comes after 25 states saw a rise in cases in just the past week. (Axios)

As of 8:00 a.m. ET Friday, the unofficial U.S. COVID-19 toll stood at 7,279,065 cases and 207,816 deaths — up 44,808 and 853, respectively, in the past 24 hours.

Things are heating up over in Europe too, as Italy experienced more than 2,000 cases in 24 hours for the first time since the end of April. (U.S. News & World Report)

Gilead Sciences said its now meeting real-time demand for remdesivir (Veklury) in the U.S., and hospitals can now buy the drug directly from the company in whatever quantities they need.

A new study looking at contract tracing data confirmed children can indeed spread the virus, but not quite as much as young adults. (CNN)

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was “disappointed” that Trump politicized the vaccine review timeline during the debate with Joe Biden. (Politico)

A mental health czar should be appointed to the White House’s coronavirus task force, says Monica Lewinsky. (Vanity Fair)

European mink farmers are now battling SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in their herds. (Reuters)

But University of Arizona researchers find that coronavirus infection relieves neuropathic pain in an animal model, and speculate that an effect like that in humans could facilitate disease spread. (Pain)

In other news:

  • The latest vectors for Salmonella outbreaks: pet hedgehogs and bearded dragons. (CDC)
  • Chrissy Teigen and John Legend lost what would have been their third child after she suffered complications and severe bleeding halfway through the pregnancy. (CNN)
  • Universal Health Services said it’s working to restore its network after a ransomware attack knocked it out for five days. (Reuters)
  • How ironic — U.S. coal baron Robert Murray is seeking federal benefits to treat what he now says is black lung disease after years of stonewalling coal dust regulation. (Ohio Valley Resource)
  • author['full_name']

    Kristen Monaco is a staff writer, focusing on endocrinology, psychiatry, and dermatology news. Based out of the New York City office, she’s worked at the company for nearly five years.

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Chrissy Teigen ‘Shocked, In Deep Pain’ After Pregnancy Loss, Shares Son’s Name

KEY POINTS

  • Chrissy Teigen lost her baby after being hospitalized due to pregnancy complications
  • Teigen didn’t expect to conceive naturally
  • John Legend’s wife shared last month that she had really bad pregnancy headaches

Chrissy Teigen is shocked and in deep pain after losing her baby days after she was admitted to the hospital due to pregnancy complications. The grieving celebrity mom took to social media to relay the sad news to her followers, who were also waiting for the arrival of her baby.

“We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before,” she wrote on Instagram.

“We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough.”

Teigen added that she and husband John Legend don’t usually decide on baby names until after they are born. However, for some reason, they had been calling her baby “my belly Jack.”

“So he will always be Jack to us.  Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever,” Teigen continued.

“To our Jack – I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive.  We will always love you.”

Teigen also thanked those who reached out to them and sent them positive energy, thoughts and prayers. She said they really appreciated such gestures. Teigen chose to end her message with a positive note by being grateful for their lives and her two wonderful babies, Luna and Miles. She added that while they are dealing with their darkest days, they will hug and love each other harder until they get through them.

Teigen has been updating her fans about her pregnancy journey on Twitter. In August, she admitted that she didn’t expect to get pregnant naturally. For years, she’s been doing pregnancy tests every month, wishing that it would turn out positive one day. When it did, she was surprised because of the timing. It happened a few weeks after she had her breast implants removed.

She took a pregnancy test before the surgery and it was negative. After realizing that she was pregnant during the procedure, she prayed hard that everything would be okay and it did until she had complications over the weekend.

Prior to that, she also suffered pregnancy headaches and was happy that she was allowed to do neck muscle botox and a combo of beta-blocker shots and radio wave frequency because her headaches were so bad.

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are pictured at the White Party Dinner Hosted on Sept. 5, 2014 at the Bocelli Residence in Forte dei Marme, Italy. Photo: Getty Images/Andrew Goodman

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