Bol Med Hosp Infant Mex. 1993 Jan; 50(1): 44-7.
[The indigestion cure: a common and dangerous practice]
Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Guanajuato, LeÃ³n, MÃ©xico.
PURPOSE. To identify current concepts and practices to treat a folk illness "empacho" in Leon, Guanajuato and a critical appraisal of risk involved. DESIGN. Prospective cross sectional survey. FRAMEWORK. General population. PATIENTS. A random sample of 519 families. MEASUREMENTS. Socioeconomic stratum, the point of view on empacho, the type and kind of treatment undertook and the clinical course observed were recorded. RESULTS. The 45.9% of the families considered empacho as a serious condition, though the prevalence of the concept was less in the high socioeconomic group. The most frequent (44.1%) concept on empacho was "something stuck in the gut" and it use to be deal with abdominal massage and herb infusions. Cooking oil was used in 34.7%, bismuth powder in 36.5%, and an unknown powder in a further 7.9% of cases. The remedy was "prescribed" by the mother herself in 48.3% of patients, whilst in the remaining someone else did it. Simultaneous medical treatment was received by 44.2% of children and 95% of them improved. CONCLUSIONS. There is a high prevalence of the concept of empacho in the general population, mainly in the low and medium socioeconomic strata. In its treatment, dangerous practices are used, which can results in lipidic pneumonia or poisoning and according to their intensity can produce lose of life or deterioration in the respiratory or neurologic functions or both.