Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Lollipop replaces morphine shot

02 November 2011, 10:53

Washington - US Marines badly wounded in Afghanistan may get a "lollipop" with a powerful pain killer from now on instead of the traditional shot of morphine, a Marine Corps spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The new treatment offers an alternative to the morphine needle "you see in the World War II movies," with medics jabbing a syrette into a soldier's leg or arm, Captain Brian Block said.

The Fentanyl lollipop offers medics a faster way to ease the pain of a battlefield injury as the drug can be absorbed more rapidly through a lozenge in the mouth than from a needle injected into a muscle, Block said.

"The absorption is actually faster through the blood vessels in the mouth. You don't have to worry about shock which will constrict the blood vessels in a major muscle in a leg or an arm," Block told AFP.

After US Marine special operations forces used the new sucker successfully, commanders ordered the lollipop to be distributed to medics throughout the Marine Corps, he said.

The marines started delivering the lollipop to medical corpsmen about two months ago, he said.

"Some medics have it now. And it will continue to be fielded until it's out there for everybody," he said.

The lollipop also gives medics more control over the dosage, as the lozenge can be withdrawn at any moment, unlike a shot of morphine, he said.

Limit dosage

"If the patient goes into shock or if there's a reason that you need to limit the dosage that you're giving to them, you can just pop it out of the mouth in a way that you couldn't [with the syrette].

"Once the morphine's in, the morphine's in."

Like other medicine distributed to military medics, the lollipops are subject to strict controls and will not be handed out directly to troops on the battlefield, he said.

"We'll take the appropriate steps to maintain accountability and maintain that they're being used appropriately," he said.

Medics in Afghanistan will still have the option of employing the morphine syrette, a small needle on a collapsible tube.

And for the moment, the pain-killing sucker will come in only one flavour - "berry", he said.


Join in the conversation on News24 Kenya’s Facebook page.

Get the latest news by following us on Twitter.


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
George Vodongo
President renews calls for nation...

President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on Kenyans to instead focus on unity, cohesion and prosperity as the country approaches the campaigns period. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What causes cellulite?

Cellulite usually affects the thighs, buttocks, waist and upper arms.  Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
IEBC selection panel settles on B...

The panel appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to recruit new IEBC commissioners has picked Bernadette Musundi as its chairperson. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Uhuru Kenyatta's bag of goodies t...

He promised to go back with more goodies next week. Read more...

Submitted by
Solomon Opala
Are women after money only

Many feel that it takes only a fat wallet to please a woman. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Kalonzo says he will defeat UhuRu...

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has expressed confidence that he will send the Jubilee government home in the upcoming Presidential election. Read more...