Publication date: Oct 06, 2020
‘Six percent of patients given opioids after surgery become dependent on them, and Veterans are twice as likely to die from accidental overdoses than civilians,’ said Brinda Krish, D. O., lead author of the study and an anesthesiology resident at Detroit Medical Center, ‘Clearly it is crucial to have multiple options for treating pain, and acupuncture is an excellent alternative.
One group received hip replacement surgery and were randomly assigned to either traditional acupuncture or a control group before surgery; and the other included patients undergoing a variety of surgeries (including gallbladder removal, hernia repair, hysterectomy or prostate surgery) who were randomly assigned to receive battlefield acupuncture or to a control group before surgery.
Those who had traditional acupuncture consumed an average of 20. 4 of morphine milligram equivalent (MME) in the first 24 hours after surgery, while patients in the control group consumed 56 MME, nearly three times as much.
Traditional acupuncture patients reported significantly higher satisfaction scores regarding their postoperative pain management 24 hours after surgery (median 8 vs. 5).
Those who had battlefield acupuncture consumed half as many opioids in the first 24 hours after surgery compared to the control group: 17. 4 MME vs. 35 MME. Those who received battlefield acupuncture had significantly lower pain scores and higher patient satisfaction scores (a median of 8 vs. 6) compared to the control group.