Acupuncture Needles Need Improvements for Comfort, Safety
While the quality of needles used in acupuncture worldwide is high, RMIT Univ. researchers have found more needs to be done to increase safety and avoid potential problems, such as pain and allergic reactions. The researchers looked at surface conditions and other physical properties of the two most commonly used stainless steel acupuncture needle brands.
The study, which has been published in Acupuncture in Medicine, found that although manufacturing processes have improved, surface irregularities and bent needle tips have not been entirely eliminated.
In his five-year career as a traveling medical technician, the longest that David Kwiatkowski ever stayed in one place was the 13 months he spent at New Hampshire’s Exeter Hospital. He’s now spent an equal amount of time in jail, and his next stop will be federal prison for far longer.
Kwiatkowski pleaded guilty today to 14 federal drug charges in exchange for a sentence of 30 to 40 years in prison. He will be sentenced at a later date, probably in November, U.S. Attorney John Kacavas says.
Anyone unfortunate enough to encounter a porcupine’s quills knows that once they go in, they are extremely difficult to remove. Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital now hope to exploit the porcupine quill’s unique properties to develop new types of adhesives, needles and other medical devices.
In a new study, the researchers characterized, for the first time, the forces needed for quills to enter and exit the skin. They also created artificial devices with the same mechanical features as the quills, raising the possibility of designing less-painful needles, or adhesives that can bind internal tissues more securely.
From annual flu shots to childhood immunizations, needle injections are among the least popular staples of medical care. Though various techniques have been developed in hopes of taking the “ouch” out of injections, hypodermic needles are still the first choice for ease-of-use, precision and control.
However, a new laser-based system that blasts microscopic jets of drugs into the skin could soon make getting a shot as painless as being hit with a puff of air.
Thanks to tiny microneedles, eye doctors may soon have a better way to treat diseases such as macular degeneration that affect tissues in the back of the eye. That could be important as the population ages and develops more eye-related illnesses– and as pharmaceutical companies develop new drugs that otherwise could only be administered by injecting into the eye with a hypodermic needle.