Acupressure and the prevention of nausea and vomiting after laparoscopy

Harmon D, Gardiner J, Harrison R, Kelly A.
“Acupressure and the prevention of nausea and vomiting after laparoscopy”
Department of Anaesthesia, Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.
Br J Anaesth 1999; 82:387-90

The efficacy of currently available antiemetics remains poor. Concern with their side effects and the high cost of the newer drugs has led to renewed interest in non-pharmacological methods of treatment. We have studied the efficacy of acupressure at the P6 point in the prevention of nausea and vomiting after laparoscopy, in a double-blind, randomized, controlled study of acupressure vs placebo. We studied 104 patients undergoing laparoscopy and dye investigation. The anaesthetic technique and postoperative analgesia were standardized. Failure of treatment was defined as the occurrence of nausea and/or vomiting within the first 24 h after anaesthesia. The use of acupressure reduced the incidence of nausea or vomiting from 42% to 19% compared with placebo, with an adjusted risk ratio of 0.24 (95% CI 0.08-0.62; P = 0.005). Other variables were similar between groups.

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