Background: Pain during transportation is a common phenomenon in emergency medicine. As acupressure has been deemed effective for pain management by the National Institutes of Health, we conducted a study to evaluate its effectiveness in prehospital patients with isolated distal radial fracture.
Methods: This was a prospective, randomized, double-blind study. Thirty-two patients were enrolled. Acupressure was performed either at "true" points or at "sham" points. Vital signs and pain and anxiety scores were recorded before and after the acupressure treatment. Normally distributed values were compared using the Student t test.
Results: Pretreatment scores for pain and anxiety were similar in the 2 groups (47.6 +/- 8.9 vs 51.2 +/- 8.7 visual analog scale [VAS] score for pain, 52.4 +/- 6.0 vs 47.5 +/- 9.3 VAS score for anxiety). At the hospital, patients in the true-points group had significantly lower pain (36.6 +/- 11.0 vs 56.0 +/- 13.3 VAS score, P < .001) and anxiety scores (34.9 +/- 22.2 vs 53.4 +/- 19.7 VAS score, P = .022).
Conclusion: Acupressure in the prehospital setting effectively reduces pain and anxiety in patients with distal radial trauma.