H.E. Dent, N.G Dewhurst, S.Y Mills, M Willoughby
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Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of continuous PC6 acupressure as an adjunct to antiemetic drug therapy in the prevention and control of nausea and vomiting in the first 24 h after myocardial infarction (MI). Design: Partially randomised, partially blinded placebo-controlled, exploratory clinical study. Setting: Coronary Care Unit, Torbay Hospital, Torquay, Devon. Participants: A total of 301 consecutive patients (205 males, 96 females) admitted following acute MI. Intervention: The first 125 patients recruited received no additional intervention. Subsequent patients were randomised to receive either continuous PC6 acupressure or placebo acupressure. Outcome measures: (1) Incidence of post-MI nausea and/or vomiting, (2) severity of symptoms, (3) use of antiemetic drugs, over 24 h. Results: There were no significant differences between the groups for the whole 24-h treatment period. However, the PC6 acupressure group experienced significantly lower incidence of nausea and/or vomiting during the last 20 h (18%), compared with the placebo (32%) or control (43%) groups (P<0.05). The severity of symptoms and the need for antiemetic drugs were also reduced in the acupressure group, but these differences were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Continuous 24-h PC6 acupressure therapy as an adjunct to standard antiemetic medication for post-MI nausea and vomiting is feasible and is well accepted and tolerated by patients. In view of its benefits, further studies are worthwhile using earlier onset of treatment.