Study: Sniffing Alcohol May Provide Nausea Relief
Patients with nausea in the emergency department who sniffed pads saturated with isopropyl alcohol were twice as likely to find relief compared to nauseated patients that sniffed pads saturated with saline, a study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine has shown.
For the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (n=80), researchers gave pads saturated with either isopropyl alcohol or saline solution and instructed patients to inhale deeply every 2–4 minutes for a maximum of 3 inhalations.
The nausea score for patients who inhaled from the alcohol saturated pads was half that of patients who inhaled from the saline saturated pads. Also, patients who inhaled from the alcohol saturated pads reported double the satisfaction score than those who inhaled from the saline saturated pads. Researchers noted no significant differences between the two groups in median pain verbal numeric response scale scores or subsequent receipt of rescue antiemetics.
“The available evidence suggests these alcohol wipes may be a potent tool for relieving nausea and improving satisfaction among our emergency patients," said Kenneth Beadle, EMPA-C, of the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium in San Antonio, TX. Beadle added that more research is needed to study the duration of the effect and performance compared to conventional pharmaceutical antiemetics.
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