York County Medicine Spring 2020 - 11

YO R K C O M E D S O C . O R G

and anxiety. By injecting an anesthetic agent on the stellate ganglion,
a collection of nerves in the neck that controls the activation of the
"fight or flight" survival reflex, it helps bring relief to regions of the
cerebral cortex thought to be abnormally activated in sufferers of PTSD.

While SGB is by no means a PTSD cure-all, it is believed by many
to potentially revolutionize the way PTSD is handled. And for many
veterans who have tried it, it is seen as a lifesaving gateway that calms
their reactions and makes them more able to receive traditional therapies.

Recipients like Sergeant Meyer describe a nearly immediate benefit
from this treatment alternative, with improvements reported within
minutes to days of the procedure.

"You can't ever think about fixing stuff when you're in the heat of
the fire," said Sergeant Meyer. "(SGB) puts the fire out and allows
you to really think about what you need to do to keep the fire from
coming back."

"It feels like a million pounds is taken off me," said Sergeant Meyer.
"It's like if you took in being downtown New York City in rush hour
traffic, to all of a sudden driving down a quiet country road with
nowhere to be."

By providing our veterans a path to treatment access, space and
breathing room they have thus far been denied, we can provide them
a well-earned road to compassion, healing and prosperity. And in a
world that could use a little more unity, that's a road that can bring
us all home together.

Considered a low-risk pain procedure when administered by a
trained clinician only a few times a year, SGB was first recognized as
a treatment for PTSD in 2008. But as of 2018, only 11 out of AmerCongressman Perry is a combat veteran who proudly serves Pennsylvania's
ica's 143 VA facilities reported using the procedure to treat PTSD. In 10th Congressional District. He recently retired from the Pennsylvania
addition, veterans first must fail traditional PTSD treatments before Army National Guard at the rank of Brigadier General after more than
they can be considered for an SGB treatment.
38 years of military service. Perry is credited with flying 44 missions and
Ultimately, my legislation, the Treatment and Relief through accruing nearly 200 combat flight hours of service in Iraq for Operation
Emerging and Accessible Therapy or (TREAT) PTSD Act, would Iraqi Freedom.
direct the Veterans Affairs secretary to expand access to SGB therapy
to all veterans upon their diagnosis of PTSD by making it a covered
treatment under federal law.

SPRING 2020 | York County Medicine

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York County Medicine Spring 2020

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