Friday, August 1, 2014

Surgically Implanted Acetaminophen Approved for Hospital Use.....

Newton, MA- In order to help manage difficult to treat mild musculoskeletal pain, headaches and abdominal discomfort frequently managed by healthcare professionals in the emergency and inpatient setting, a growing number of hospitals are fast tracking a surgical procedure which implants acetaminophen directly into the patient's brain.

Ankle sprain patient Emily Gilmore, seen here during an acetaminophen implantation procedure, would go on to die the following day from meningitis of unknown origin.
Traditional oral acetaminophen, most commonly known in the United States as Tylenol, has been a medicine cabinet and hospital formulary staple for decades, although exactly how it works remains a bit of mystery. The leading theory involves manipulation of the neuromatrix, which is believed to lie somewhere near the lobe of Quimby in the preposterior obligate gyroid. Within the past few years, the development of intravenous acetaminophen has given hospital-based physicians an opportunity to give the same medicine through an IV in order to achieve an equianalgesic effect at only an order of magnitude the price.

"It's been a real godsend," pediatric surgeon Mort Fishman explains. "Prior to the IV version we had to cross our fingers and hope that the medicine would get to where it was needed. Now, with intravenous acetaminophen I don't have to think anymore. I can literally watch it go into the patient's vein and avoid interrupting their lunch."

But some patients weren't always responding to the IV formulation, especially those with chronic abdominal pain, headaches, or psychogenic paralysis. Thankfully, surgeons like Dr. Fishman now have another trick up their sleeves. Surgically implanted acetaminophen combines the power of acetaminophen with the confidence that the medication is going exactly where it needs to go, the brain and spinal cord.

The procedure, which takes anywhere from 2 to 5 hours, is quickly becoming a popular choice among surgeons, surgical physician assistants, and residents on the surgical service. Fishman, who pioneered the use of minimally invasive robotic surgery for the incision and drainage of buttock abscesses in toddlers, is a believer. "I have had several nurses tell me that it works better than regular Tylenol."

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