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Can J Anaesth. 1992 Feb; 39(2): 151-4.

Ineffectiveness of acupuncture and droperidol in preventing vomiting following strabismus repair in children.

Yentis SM, Bissonnette B.

Department of Anaesthesia, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The antiemetic effects and side-effects of P6 acupuncture and droperidol pre-treatment were evaluated in a randomized, patient- and observer-blinded study. Ninety unpremedicated children of ASA physical status I or II undergoing outpatient strabismus repair, and aged over one year, were studied. All patients received intravenous thiopentone 5 mg.kg-1, atropine 0.02 mg.kg-1 and succinylcholine 1.5 mg.kg-1, and the trachea was intubated. Patients then received either intravenous droperidol 0.075 mg.kg-1, droperidol plus five minutes' P6 acupuncture, or acupuncture alone. Anaesthesia was maintained with nitrous oxide 66% and halothane 1.5-2.0% in oxygen with spontaneous ventilation. There was no difference in the incidence of vomiting in the droperidol group (17% before discharge from hospital and 41% up to 48 hours after discharge), combined treatment group (17% and 34% respectively) and acupuncture group (27% and 45% respectively). Corresponding figures for the incidence of vomiting before discharge were 17%, 17% and 27% respectively; these values were also not different. The incidence of restlessness was significantly greater in children receiving droperidol (63%) or both treatments (67%) than in those receiving acupuncture alone (30%; P = 0.007). P6 acupuncture and droperidol are equally ineffective in preventing vomiting within 48 hours of paediatric strabismus repair. Droperidol is associated with increased incidence of postoperative restlessness.

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