Saturday, June 02, 2007

Do Babies Feel Pain During Surgery Without Anesthesia? Um...

I'm supposed to be saving my energy so that I can manage to fill out more disability forms, for this illness with no objective medical evidence. Objective medical evidence is required by disability insurance. Chronic fatigue syndrome by current definition has no objective medical tests for diagnosis, and by definition is a disabling illness. Sigh.

But what I had to post is this: Believing Babies Feel Pain.

Is this for real?!? Or is this some Snopes-worthy story that made it into USA Today?

Did doctors en masse really think that babies are like not born with pain nerves and then one day magically grow them at some arbitrary age when they are no longer considered "babies"? Was it really necessary to have to conduct studies on levels of stress hormones in order for doctors to believe that babies feel pain when having surgery without anesthesia?

We're talking about open heart surgery in the 1990s. Here are more articles on the topic:

Study Backs Deep Anesthesia for Babies in Surgery
, New York Times

"Indeed, babies once routinely underwent surgery without any anesthetics. Many doctors believed newborns did not feel pain the same way adults do."

Babies feel pain - babies remember pain

"When he went to an anesthesiologist and asked why neonates were not given an anesthetic. 'He just told me, ‘hey, babies don’t feel pain. If we give them an anesthetic, it might make their blood pressure go down.’'"

Premature babies 'feel true pain', aka Doctors need to see brain scans in order to think that premature babies feel pain from painful procedures. I'm sorry, but babies' brains are developed enough to feel hungry, to move their arms and legs, and to cry, especially if you slap them or poke them with a needle, so why wouldn't they be able to feel pain?

Even if this began as a coping mechanism for doctors at a time when anesthesia was too dangerous for babies,

I call this DELUSIONAL.