We have studied whether the antiemetic effect of PC.6 (Neiguan) acupuncture at the wrist in preventing post-operative nausea and vomiting is affected by the timing of its administration in fifty patients undergoing major gynaecological surgery. Patients were randomly assigned to receive PC.6 acupuncture either five minutes before induction of anaesthesia (Group 1), five minutes after induction of anaesthesia (Group 2) or when awake in the recovery room post-operatively (Group 3). There were no significant differences in emetic sequelae amongst the three groups, with respective incidences of vomiting of 29%, 24% and 25% within the first 6 hours post-operatively. In order to have an 80% power of detecting a difference between groups of the magnitude found, over 3600 patients would need to be studied. We conclude that general anaesthesia does not affect the antiemetic action of PC.6 acupuncture.
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