Pet therapy for less painful recovery

A new study shows that adults recovering from total joint-replacement surgery require 50 per cent less pain medication when they use pet therapy. The study found that animal-assisted therapy helped in boosting a patient’s emotional and physical well being.
“Evidence suggests that animal-assisted therapy (AAT) can have a positive effect on a patient’s psychosocial, emotional and physical well being,” said Julia Havey, Loyola University Health System (LUHS).
“These data further support these benefits and build the case for expanding the use of pet therapy in recovery,” she said.
Animal lover Julia and colleague Frances Vlasses began raising puppies to become assistance dogs more than a decade ago through a programme called Canine Companions for Independence (CCI).

Kiss of life can do more harm than good

The kiss of life can actually lower the chances of survival of patients who have suffered cardiac arrest, reveals a new study.
The researchers suggest that chest compressions might just be enough to bring back the patient to life. The two breaths of air usually included in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR may be a waste time, suggest boffins.
The study led by the Arizona University showed that 11 per cent of heart victims are likely to survive if they received only chest compressions.
However, the survival rate can fall to six per cent if they were also given the kiss of life.
Amazingly, five per cent would survive if passers-by did nothing at all.
But British heart charities insist it was important to do something — even if it was just ringing an ambulance.

Headphones pose risk to patients with pacemakers

For patients with pacemakers, headphones might pose as a significant health risk, reveals a new study.
According to Kevin Fu at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, while they are safe to use, keeping them in breast pockets might interfere with working of the implanted device.
In the study involving 100 people, nearly a third of cases showed that the magnets interfered with the device.
Fu and colleagues tested eight different headphones by holding them near the implants.
Fu also revealed that headphones containing neodymium were the most problematic, as the magnetic fields generated were very strong for the headphones size.

Migraine may increase risk of stroke: Study

Migraine headaches are associated with more than twofold higher chances of the most common kind of stroke: those occurring when blood supply to the brain is suddenly cut off by the buildup of plaque or a blood clot, researchers at Johns Hopkins have affirmed.
According to calculations from the Johns Hopkins team, presented at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) annual Scientific Sessions in Orlando, the risk for those with migraines is 2.3 times more than those without them.
For those who experience aura, the sighting of flashing lights, zigzag lines and blurred side vision along with migraines, the risk of so-called ischemic stroke is 2.5 times higher, and in women, 2.9 times as high.