Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Doctors able to 'switch off' the pain to detach themselves from patients

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A recent study out this week stated that doctors are finding ways to 'turn off the pain' when treating some patients so that they are not distracted while administering treatment.

ER and trauma surgeons could probably benefit from this type of research I would guess. Being able to put the human equation aside and perform highly stressful medical work in order to save a life sometimes would be absolutely necessary. Turning off the brain's pain center (or distracting it) would seem to accomplish this task.

This study looked at functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as 14 doctors (and 14 others in a control group) were observed while some patients were pricked by acupuncture needles in the mouth area while others were 'pricked' by cotton swaps. One hurt patients in terms of pain response while the other inflicted no pain (obviously).

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