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19/09/2011 - Acupuncture in emergency medicine : Results of a case series.

Country: Germany

Institute: Interdisziplinäre Schmerzambulanz, Klinik für Anaesthesiologie, Klinikum der Universität München, Innenstadt, Pettenkoferstr. 8A, 80336, München, Deutschland.

Author(s): Fleckenstein J, Schottdorf J, Kreimeier U, Irnich D.

Journal: Anaesthesist. 2011 Sep 16.



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).


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.


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.


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.

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Pubmed ID: 21918826