• A RCT: Is intraoperative acupuncture at acupuncture‐point P6 plus antiemetics more effective than antiemetic therapy alone in preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting in pediatric patients following tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy?

      Pierson, Kasey; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Kendrick, Angela (The University of Arizona., 2014-04)
      Purpose: Acupuncture at point P6 has proven efficacious in alleviating postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV). Evidence supporting its use in pediatric patients is not nearly as conclusive. Furthermore, acupuncture’s effects when combined with antiemetics needs to be further elucidated. We conducted a double-blinded, randomized controlled trial to investigate the effects of P6 acupuncture combined with antiemetics on pediatric patients undergoing tonsillectomy. Methods: A total of 109 patients between the ages of 3 – 9 years old were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups prior to surgery. Each group received standard antiemetic medications while only one group received acupuncture intraoperatively. PONV was assessed via usual protocol while the patients remained at the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) and Day Stay Unit. A follow-up phone call 24 hours following surgery was conducted to assess for overnight symptoms. Results: 106 patients completed the study with 58 randomly assigned to the Treatment Group, whom receive acupuncture and antiemetic therapy, and 48 to the Control Group, receiving only antiemetic therapy. When comparing baseline characteristics and possible confounding factors for each group, no statistical differences between the groups could be found. For primary outcomes, the only significant difference between the two groups occurred with the incidence of nausea in the PACU following the surgery (P = 0.02), but nausea in the Day Stay Unit trended toward significance (P = 0.06). Retching and vomiting incidence did not occur frequently enough in the hospital to be analyzed. No differences between the Treatment Group and Control group were seen in the 24 hours after the patients were discharged from the hospital. Discussion: With no adverse events from its use and with statistically significant efficacy, P6 acupuncture embodies a useful prophylactic treatment for postoperative nausea in children.