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Pericardium-6 Acupressure for the Prevention of Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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Postoperative nausea and vomiting PONV are common problems after general anesthesia. Pharmacological advances have reduced the incidence of PONV however nausea and vomiting remain the most common postoperative complications of anesthesia. Persistent nausea and vomiting may result in dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and delayed discharge. Traditional western medicine has been unable to definitively explain why this phenomenon continues to occur. Acupressure at the pericardium-six meridian has been studied in various patient populations and found to be without side effects, however its effectiveness has not been shown. The purpose of this study was to set up a pilot study to retest the claim that acupressure at the pericardium-six meridian can reduce PONV. Ten patients undergoing laparotomy, laparoscopic, or general surgery for gynecological procedures were studied. Acupressures effectiveness was compared to sham acupressure of the control group. Patients, anesthesia providers, and data collectors were blinded to the control and study groups. Non-invasive acupressure wristbands were applied to both wrists prior to surgery and worn for 24 hours after. Post anesthesia care unit personnel recorded data while the patient was in the hospital. The patients recorded and quantified nausea and vomiting at home using a visual analogue scale. An anesthesia provider called the patient after surgery to collect data. All data were analyzed using SPSS 8.0. No statistical significance was found in nausea and vomiting scores between the two groups.

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