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Doctors lobby to keep control of needles

ST. PAUL — Doctors showed fierce-looking needles Tuesday as they lobbied lawmakers to keep control of a pain-control procedure that uses those needles.

Minnesota legislators are considering legislation to allow nurse anesthetists to treat patients with severe pain without direct supervision of a doctor.

“With some interventional procedures, if the needle is off target by as little as one millimeter, it can result in serious injury or death,” said Dr. Mark Janiga of the Midwest Spine Institute. “Advanced practice registered nurses are a very important part of the health care team and are important partners in delivering quality health care to all Minnesotans. However, chronic pain management and interventional pain management procedures are highly complicated procedures that require extensive training and experience, and this is the focus of our concerns for patient safety.”

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