New Drug Makes Recovery Time Faster Following Surgery - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Heather Flanigan Reports

New Drug Makes Recovery Time Faster Following Surgery

October 3, 2005 – Posted at 5:29 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- One Region 8 hospital is using a new drug to help patients get up and running within 48 hours. The drug, six years in the making, is called DepoDur, and it's designed for extended pain treatment for up to 48 hours.

“I didn't feel any pain, and still haven't felt any pain. There is no soreness...it's amazing,” said patient Scott Cole.

Cole had his first hip surgery 12 years ago. His recovery then was very different from his recent operation.

“I woke up a lot quicker the second time. I could eat when I woke up. I wasn't queasy or anything like that,” said Cole.

Jonesboro's NEA hospital is the first in Region 8 to use DepoDur.  Given as spinal anesthesia, doctors are able to use it in various surgeries.

“This particular drug is used in three different areas right now. Hip and knee replacements, cesarean sections and lower abdominal surgery,” said Dr. Al Aquino of the NEA Hospital .

It's injected through an epidural catheter and spreads laterally into nerve roots in the spinal canal.

 “These molecules are releasing morphine steadily, but slowly,” said Dr. Aquino, “Because it's injected into the epidural space, they basically adhere to receptors pain receptors sights in the spinal cord.”

Making recovery time faster and easier on patients. Working so well, it's almost got Cole back on his feet.

“I’m getting along just great. Matter of fact, I called my doctor and asked how much longer I had to be on this walker. I’m ready for crutches,” laughed Cole.

Doctors say they are most concerned about respiratory depression following surgery, but patients have complained of few side effects and positive results.

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