One of the most common patient complaints following surgery is postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) associated with anesthesia. Debra Hofmann, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, CNE recently published the results of research she conducted over several years with staff at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. Dr. Hofmann, who is assistant professor at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and a team of nurses investigated the efficacy of applying acupressure beads/patch to the wrists of high-risk patients prior to receiving general anesthetic to relieve PONV symptoms. The results were published in an article, “Acupressure in Management of Postoperative Nausea & Vomiting (PONV) in High Risk Ambulatory Surgical Patients” which appeared in the Journal of Perianesthesia Nursing (2016). The Aspirus findings showed acupressure patches applied preoperatively had a significant impact in lowering PONV for high-risk patients who did not respond to customary therapies.
Her publication prompted professor Dr. Zhen Zheng from RMIT University, Melbourne Australia to travel to Aspirus Wausau Hospital to interview Hofmann and learn more about the therapy. Aspirus Wausau Hospital has successfully implemented the treatment policy and protocol as designed by Hofmann since 2013. According to Zhen, it is the first hospital in the world to regularly offer the patch to patients. As Hofmann, stated the patch, which cost $4 each is an “innovative and affordable way to combine Western medicine and holistic healing to alleviate patient suffering.”
Hofmann, D., Murray, C. & Beck, J. (2016). Acupressure in Management of Postoperative Nausea & Vomiting (PONV) in High Risk Ambulatory Surgical Patients. Journal of Perianesthesia Nursing. doi.org/10.1016/j.jopan.2015.09.010