San Francisco, CA. (August 22, 2013) Two simple, non-drug treatmentsaromatherapy and intravenous administration of a simple sugar solutionmay offer effective new approaches to relieving nausea and vomiting after surgery, report a pair of studies in the September issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).
"Aromatherapy is promising as an inexpensive, noninvasive treatment for postoperative nausea that can be administered and controlled by patients as needed," according to a research report by Dr Ronald Hunt of Carolinas Medical Center University, Charlotte, NC, and colleagues. The second study suggests that intravenous dextrose solution is also useful in managing the common problem of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV).
Aromatherapy Reduces Nausea after Surgery
In the aromatherapy study, 301 patients reporting nausea after surgery were randomly assigned to receive one of four types of aromatherapy. Two groups received true aromatherapy, with essential oil of ginger or a blend of aromatherapy oils (ginger, spearmint, peppermint, and cardamom) placed on a gauze pad.
The other two groups received gauze pads with non-aromatherapy solutions: either rubbing alcohol or, as an odorless placebo, saline solution. Rates of subsequent nausea and vomiting and need for anti-nausea (antiemetic) medications were compared between groups.
Patients receiving the two aromatherapy treatments had lower nausea scores, compared to those receiving the placebo saline solution. In contrast, rubbing alcohol had no significant effect on nausea, compared to saline solution. Patients receiving aromatherapy were also less likely to require antiemetic drugs.
The aromatherapy blend was somewhat more effective than ginger only. About 80 percent of patients receiving the blend had improvement in nausea, compared to about 70 percent with ginger only (versus 40
|Contact: Connie Hughes|
Wolters Kluwer Health