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Lewes, Delaware
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February 23, 1996     Cape Gazette
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February 23, 1996
 

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26 - CAPE GAZETI, Friday, February 23 - February 29, 1996 ]00|ealth & Fitness High tech lithotdpsy unit allows surgery avoidance By Kerry Kester When Ed Springer, 58, started feeling intense pain in his abdomen, he thought it would pass. "It started with a burning pain in the back," said Springer. "It turned into a pretty severe pain that moves down toward the testi- cles. The pain just doesn't quit. "It hurts so bad, you get clam- my. I was very nauseous," he said. The pain lasted for about a half hour, he said, and when he could no longer tolerate it, he had to go to the emergency room at Beebe Medical Center. Once there, his blood was test- ed, he had x-rays, and a physician prescribed a pain killer. He went home, continued taking the pain killers, but soon even that didn't help. "It wouldn't touch it," he said. By that time, tests results showed that Springer had kidney stones. The pain was a result of his kidney not being able to drain properly. R. U. Hosmane, the-urologist who is Springer's physician, ordered a procedure called lithotripsy to treat the kidney stone problem. "There's no cutting involved," said Hosmane, of Beebe's state-of-the art Dornier MFL 5000 lithotripsy unit. The machine, explained Hos- mane, uses shock waves to crush the stones. "Then he passes them [through the urinary tract]," he said. "It's usually about 3,000 shocks." The shocks, he explained rise SPRINGER up from beneath the patient, who rests above a small pad that emits the shock waves. The shocks are timed with the heart rate. Technicians and physicians con- stantly monitor the patient through equipment similar to x-rays, that provide the professionals with exact information about the loca- tion of the stones, progress being made, and the patient's condition. "Before this, we had to operate," said Hosmane. "It was more inva- sive." The entire procedure lasts only about an hour, Hosmane said. Patients are sedated, because the shocks themselves can cause pain. However, for most patients it is an outpatient procedure, which means there is less hospitalization and less recovery time. The lithotripsy unit is contained in a mobile unit, so several hospi- tals are able to access the proce- dure without having to buy the costly machine. Because Beebe allows other healthcare facilities to access the machine, it is not only providing its patients with the technologically advanced treat- ment option, it is also containing its cost. Hosmane said kidney stones are generally caused by an improper diet. People should reduce animal protein, salt and caffeine intake, he said. "An we don't drink enough liquid," said Hosmane. Kidney stones may develop in a person of any age, although gener- ally the. problem develops in peo- ple who are in their twenties or more. Hosmane said those who have kidney stones are also likely to have them again. "Most people have recurrent stones," he said. Alzheimer's advisory 1)oarc., support group now up and running t bJ, bt ssex residents The Delaware Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association is expanding programs and services to Kent and Sussex County during 1996. The expansion will include developing new support groups in both counties, targeting communi- ties such as Lewes, Milford and Millsboro; expanding the Respite Care In-Home Financial Assis- tance Program; promoting the "Safe Return" lost patient national identification registry program; and developing the Kent/Sussex County Advisory Board to assess and serve the needs of Alzheimer patients, caregivers and families in those areas. On Feb. 7, a meeting was held at Grace United Methodist Church in Millsboro under the guidance of Dr. Dan Rich, pastor of the church. Andrea Carr, executive director of flae Delaware Chapter, caregivers and business leaders outlining the need to expand ser- vices and address the concerns and needs of the southern region's Alzheimer's families. Through the assembly, a new support group has been formed which will meet at the Grace unit- ed Methodist Church, the third Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. The first meeting of the group will be held on Tuesday, March 19. Kerry Kester photos Above, Robert Wiltshire, anesthesiologist, prepares a patient who is about to undergo Hthotrlpsy, a treatment for crushing kidney stones. Below, Beebe Medical Center urologist, R.U. Hosmane, shows the pad that rests beneath a patient who undergoes Hthotripsy. The procedure crushes kidney stones, which the patient can later pass through the urinary tract. The high. tech procedureis an alternative to surgery. It is the screaming of our body to our mind. Pain hurts. It will not be ignored. It is first and fore- most a symptom - the body's alarm system. There are two types of pain, acute and chronic. Acute pain is nature's alert that something is wrong and may require attention, such as falling down. Chronic pain lasts, sometimes indefinitely. With this kind of pain, doctors cannot pinpoint any injury or infection which would have trig- gered the pain. The most common source of chronic pain is the lower back. Acute pain can be curedl This type of pain disappears when the injury mends. The medical pro- fession has no cure for chronic pain, which is the most common HEALTH TOPICS Roger 'Doc' 14 medical symptom. There is a high cost for people in pain. "USA Today" reported "that American workers lose 550 million days a year because of pain2' Forty million Americans are afflicted by chronic pain. The Cost of compen- sating pain sufferers is unbeliev- able. In 1981, compensation reached 20 billion dollars. Include the loss of productivity, and the annual cost reaches 50 billion dol- lars. Five million people are disabled by low back pain. These people pay 1.5 billion dollars in hospital and doctor bills, including 200,000 surgical procedures and 19 million visits to the doctors. The average American loses two weeks of productivity per year due to pain. Over one billion dollars in over-the-counter pain medications are sold each year. Finally, 400 million dollars in habit-forming, enormously addictive drugs are sold. People who are inconstant pain are depressed, gain excessive weight, smoke more and drink more alcohol if they are drinkers. They are inactive, so the muscles atrophy, and they are less like.ly to be motivated to do anything. When there doesn't seem to be a reason for their pain, they become more depressed. These chronic pain sufferers pray that the CAT scans or myleograms find some- thing so they can prove they do have pain. There is help for the chronic pain sufferer. There are 300 pain centers throughout the United States. In Wilmington, there is a pain clinic at'the Delaware Cura- tive Workshgp. The centers attempt to accomplish three goals reinforcers of pain behavior; increase physical activity; and decrease excessive drug use. At "Back to Basics", these goals plus nutritional reprogramming and motivation techniques are utilized. Remember - patients must assume the responsibility for con- trolling their pain. They must believe they can get well. Finally, they have a choice: control pain and enjoy life or allow the pain to control their life, which is nothing but misery 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for the rest of their lives. Editor's Note: Roger "Doc" Hunt is a certified athletic trainer and instructor in the Health Pro- fession Department at Sussex Vocational-Technical High School :-7 identify andliminate positige in Georgetown .... There is help for the chronic pain sufferer led a meeting of 14 concerned Continued on page 27