May 24, 2008
BehindTheMedspeak: Guess what? Breathing into a paper bag when you're hyperventilating is useless
Not only is it useless, it can kill you.
Here's the piece.
- The Claim: If You’re Hyperventilating, Breathe Into a Paper Bag
The Facts: Like a bandage for a cut or a crutch for a broken leg, the brown paper bag is a symbol for hyperventilation.
Grabbing a bag and breathing into it repeatedly, known in medical literature as “rebreathing,” has long been recommended to ease rapid, uncontrolled breathing. Some doctors even keep bags in the office for that reason. But most medical studies and experts suggest that the method, though accepted, is dangerous and should be retired.
The idea behind it is to increase carbon dioxide levels. Hyperventilation causes the body to expel too much carbon dioxide, and “rebreathing” exhaled air helps restore that lost gas.
The problem is that several medical conditions, like asthma and heart attacks, can be confused with hyperventilation. In such cases reducing oxygen and increasing carbon dioxide can be deadly. One study in The Annals of Emergency Medicine described three cases in which people having heart attacks thought, wrongly, that they were hyperventilating and died after losing oxygen while breathing into bags.
Another study said using a bag was no better at easing hyperventilation than using an open tube. For better results, experts say, stay calm and practice breathing slowly and deliberately.
The Bottom Line: Most studies advise against paper bags to treat hyperventilation.
Single Bulb Fixture
"Emerging from the wall is a single naked bulb suspended in the air by a steel bar. The bar curves beautifully with the weight of the light bulb, creating a truly appealing image. Each light fixture can be easily affixed to the wall with the small supplied plug. Included in the box is a plug/cord, steel bar and wall-mounted anchor."
Lynda Barry on how to avoid writer's block
In/Out Fruit Bowl
"The shape of the fruit bowl was inspired by natural processes."
"The concave part supports ripening of the fruit while the perforated section extends its life span."
MagMyPic — 'Upload any picture to create your own magazine cover'
Think of the possibilities.
There goes the day.
Lust calls his signature technique "metal (de)formation."
This is not Christy Turlington
But the resemblance is striking enough that you have to stop and look twice — if not three times — before you're certain.
The ad appeared on page A3 of yesterday's New York Times.
That's what I call star power on the cheap.
What is it?
Answer here this time tomorrow.