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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 4, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE June Lawrence Lamb M.D. Dear Dr. spinal taps dangerous? Some people seem to think that they can cause certain parts of the body to become paralyzed if they are not performed correctly? Has anyone ever been paralyzed due to a spinal tap'' Are there any spinal taps on record that were performed incorrectly by some doctor causing undesirable reactions in some patients Dear always the possibility that something can go wrong with any medical procedure or any medicine It's possible for something to go wrong driving down the street, even if there is no other traffic You could have a wheel come off and have an automobile wreck. There are rare cases, for example, of individuals having their hearts stop while simple blood tests are performed. So, nothing in this world is totally without danger Now a properly performed spinal tap under the proper circumstances is a safe medical procedure. The spinal cord is encased in a sac-like membrane. The membrane is much like the common plastic wrap or plasstic bag material used in the kitchen. This long plastic-like bag is filled with spinal fluid It is a clear, watery-looking substance. Did you know that the spinal cord does not extend all the way down the spine7 But, the membrane sac containing spinal fluid does. The spinal cord stops in the upper lumbar portion of the spine. This has a lot to do with the location chosen for the spinal tap. By sticking a needle into the side of the spine below the level of Flashback 1613 Champlain passed Ottawa's site in seeking a route to China. 1831 Leopold, Duke of Kendal, was elected king of Belgium. 1946 Juan Peron was inaugurated as president of Argentina. 1954 The UN voted to debate Thai complaints of Viet Minn infiltration. 1963 Teamsters' President James Hoffa and seven others were indicted for fraud. the cord, the needle really doesn't come in contact with the cord at all. Fluid is then withdrawn through this needle just as blood may be withdrawn from a vein in a simple blood test. The doctor's main problem is locating the exact site to slip the needle in. This sometimes becomes a little bit more difficult if the person has a disease of the vertebra, lor example, arthritic changes. There is no reason this procedure should cause paralysis. The underlying disease that required the spinal tap may eventually result in paralysis and other changes. Now, doctors do have to exercise some precaution in what kind of cases they do this procedure on. If there is a marked increase m pressure inside the skull for any reason, for example a brain tumor, there is always the possibility that when fluid is withdrawn out of the spinal column the pressure in the skull will tend to force the brain downward and cause trouble. These are fairly uncommon problems, and usually there are other indications that tell the doctor there is a significantly increased pressure inside the skull It's not uncommon for patients to have a relatively severe headache after the spinal tap is over. This headache is not an indication of any significant damage having occurred You asked if there were any records of any improperly done spinal taps. I can't give you a ready answer to that, but I'm certain there are. There are almost no procedures that someone at one time or another hasn't had a problem with or things haven't gone as they should have But. I would be inclined to think that these are extreme rarities. Even in major medical centers where spinal taps are done frequently under a variety of circumstances, including outpatient clinics, it's remarkable how few complications ever occur. Send your questions to Dr. Lamb, in care of this newspaper. P.O. Box 1551, Radio City Station, New York, N.Y. 10019. For a copy of Dr. Lamb's booklet on blood sugar, send 50 cents to the same address and ask for "Blood Sugar" booklet. Goren on Bridge BY CHARLES H. GOREN cj 1974, The cniuto Neither vulnerable North deals. NORTH A 103 V Q J 7 4 0 A Q 10 7 5 WEST EAST AQ9542 AK76 ".932 T8 y 8 6 CK432 Q93 AAJ1062 SOUTH A A .1 8 A K 10 6 5 .19 The bidding North East South West 1 Pass 1 Pass 2 Pass 4 Pass Pass I'ass Opening lead: Four of A An extra trick presented to him on opening lead blinded declarer to the ulti- mate object of the game- fulfilling the contract. North's hand was a mini- mum opening bid, and once he elected to open one dia- mond his side could not stay out of the heart game. As the cards lie. a club lead would have spelled imme- diate defeat, but the game stood a reasonable chance of success with any other lead. No blame attaches to West for his choice of his fourth- best spade as the opening lead East played the king and declarer, impressed by the fact that he now had two tricks in the suit, won the ace. He drew trumps in three rounds and ran the jack of diamonds to East's king. East put his partner on lead with a spade to the queen, and a club return en- abled the defenders to score two tricks in that suit for a one-trick set. It is always pleasant to receive a free trick in a suit, but declarer should have realized that an extra spade trick did his cause little good. Far more important was to keep danger hand lead, in case both the ace of clubs and the king of diamonds were wrong. Observe what happens if declarer allows East to win the first trick with the king of spades. The king of clubs is now safe from attack, and East can do no better than return a spade. Declarer wins the ace and draws trumps, and now runs the jack of diamonds. If the finesse wins, well and good. But if the finesse loses, as is the actual case. East is again on lead and the club king remains in- vulnerable. In fact, if East does not take his ace of clubs, declarer can win any return and cash dummy's diamonds, discarding three clubs from his hand and so making an overtrick. By playing the hand in this manner, declarer limits his losers to a maximum of one trick in each side suit. Your horoscope ly Jeam'Dixon WEDNESDAY, JUNE