BACKGROUND: Acupuncture (AP) might be indicated in emergency medicine. This case series was performed to demonstrate the practicability and possible effects of AP in emergency medical services (EMS) as a basis for randomized controlled trials (RCT).
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A total of 60 patients (average age 55.4±23.0 years, 57% female) treated by the EMS received AP if applicable. Main outcome parameter was to rate the symptom alleviating effect of acupuncture treatment on a 4-point scale or by VAS.
RESULTS: Of the 60 patients 35 (58%) reported considerable improvement, 15 patients (25%) reported complete relief and 10 patients (17%) reported no changes in the cardinal symptom. The predominant symptoms alleviated by AP were nausea (n=31) and vomiting (n=21). Pericardium 3 and 6 (27%) and Spleen 6 and 9 were the most commonly used AP points.
CONCLUSION: This case series demonstrates that AP can alleviate certain symptoms in emergency patients. The results of the study provide data as a basis to perform clinical controlled trials on the effectiveness of AP in emergency medicine.
Fleckenstein, J., Schottdorf, J., Kreimeier, U., & Irnich, D. (2011). [Acupuncture in emergency medicine: results of a case series]. Der Anaesthesist, 60(9), 854-862.