Page 40 - February 2021
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 Treat your
You’re still hyped from the tour that ended hours ago. You’re try- ing to calm down and you can’t. You try to watch TV. Now it’s 2 a.m., you have to go to sleep and you can’t sleep. Now you’re pissed off. You drink some more, but you have to go on duty at 7 a.m. So that’s a problem. That’s a big problem.
Then you try to take medication. It’s not working. You’re more pissed off. Your spouse is bitching because you’re in a bad mood and don’t want to spend time with the family.
How many Chicago Police Officers feel this way?
Or this way:
They can’t find calm in their own body, feeling ambushed by anxiety attacks, over- whelmed with anger, shame or regret about the consequences of that for those they love. There’s chronically disrupted sleep, difficulties concentrating, chronic hyper- vigilance, that hair-trigger startle response when someone comes up behind you and sexual dysfunction.
How can you not feel this way? All the
hyperarousal symptoms associated with
trauma exposure are causing cases of
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in
Chicago Police Officers to pile up like the overtime hours worked last summer. And by the way, it’s really PTSI (post-traumatic stress injury), because the feelings you are having result from an injury you have suffered and very well might become subject to worker’s comp coverage.
As more clinicians and medical professionals study how to treat the increasing post-traumatic stress among law enforcement, a lo- cal group of medical innovators has given PTSI treatment a shot in
Stella Center has developed a successful approach to address growing post-traumatic stress in police officers
By Mitchell Krugel
the arm.
Well, a shot in the neck, actually.
Dr. Eugene Lipov, Chief Medical Officer at the Stella Center in Oak
Brook, has been having unprecedented success treating the debili- tating effects of post-traumatic stress by modifying the 100-year-old stellate ganglion block (SGB) to alleviate symptoms during a single outpatient procedure.
Stella’s adaptation of the SGB involves injecting a widely available, commonly used anesthesia into a bundle of nerves in the neck just above the collarbone. The injected medication has the short-term ef- fect of soothing and resetting the overactive nerves fired by relentless traumatic stress, operating in the same temporary way as the Novocain administered by a dentist. Stella’s unique dual SGB injection has shown 80 percent effectiveness in relieving symp- toms of PTSD.
“The idea is to reboot your brain to the pre-trauma state, which means you are calm, collected and focused,” explains Dr. Lipov, an anesthesiologist, pain manage-
ment specialist and former trauma surgeon at Cook County Hos- pital who began using the SGB in 2006. He feels your pain, having been compelled to study post-traumatic stress after seeing it push his mother to suicide.
“Chicago Police Officers are living in misery right now. And there’s no reason for them to live in misery,” Dr. Lipov continues. “You can be relaxed, calm and rational. And that microsecond when you have to make a decision on the street, when you’re calm and collected, it’s better for everyone.”
 Treat your PTSD
For more information about the Stella Center’s work treating PTSD, including answers to frequently asked questions, go to
or call 833-STELLA-NOW
or email

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