Acupuncture is a feasible and beneficial non-pharmacological option for treating pain in the emergency department (ED), conclude the authors of a large pilot study carried out in the USA. The quality improvement study aimed to determine the feasibility of employing an acupuncturist within an urban hospital ED to provide acupuncture as an acute pain management option. Seven hundred and six patients with acute pain from a variety of causes were offered acupuncture, of which 379 (53.7 percent) consented to receive treatment. For the patients receiving acupuncture, mean pain scores declined significantly (from 6.5 to 3.4 on a ten point scale). Significant decreases in levels of stress, anxiety and nausea were also seen after acupuncture. Acupuncture significantly decreased pain regardless of whether or not a patient received opioids during their visit. ED acupuncture was well received by both patients and physicians.
ED Acupuncture: Feasibility, Acceptability, and Impact on Pain. American Pain Society Annual Meeting April 2019: Abstracts 361 and 362