Acupressure improves the weaning indices of tidal volumes and rapid shallow breathing index in stable coma patients receiving mechanical ventilation: Randomized controlled trial

Suh Hwa Maa, Chiu Hua Wang, Kuang Hung Hsu, Horng Chyuan Lin, Brian Yee, Karen Macdonald, Ivo Abraham

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Background. Acupressure has been shown to improve respiratory parameters. We investigated the effects of acupressure on weaning indices in stable coma patients receiving mechanical ventilation. Methods. Patients were randomly allocated to one of three treatments: standard care with adjunctive acupressure on one (n = 32) or two days (n = 31) and standard care (n = 31). Acupressure in the form of 10 minutes of bilateral stimulation at five acupoints was administered per treatment session. Weaning indices were collected on two days before, right after, and at 0.5 hrs, 1 hr, 1.5 hrs, 2 hrs, 2.5 hrs, 3 hrs, 3.5 hrs, and 4 hrs after the start of treatment. Results. There were statistically significant improvements in tidal volumes and index of rapid shallow breathing in the one-day and two-day adjunctive acupressure study arms compared to the standard care arm immediately after acupressure and persisting until 0.5, 1 hr, and 2 hrs after adjustment for covariates. Conclusions. In the stable ventilated coma patient, adjunctive acupressure contributes to improvements in tidal volumes and the index of rapid shallow breathing, the two indices most critical for weaning patients from mechanical ventilation. These effects tend to be immediate and likely to be sustained for 1 to 2 hours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number723128
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
StatePublished - May 27 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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