Research Reports - Acupuncture helps regain postoperative consciousness in patients with traumatic brain injury: A case study

J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Dec 4

Tseng YJ, Hung YC, Hu WL

Abstract Objective: This report of one case illustrates the potential effect of
acupuncture therapy in addition to Western medicine for regaining postoperative
consciousness in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Clinical features: A
65-year-old man experienced a TBI after being involved in a motor vehicle
accident. His initial Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score was E1V1M2, and brain
computerized tomography showed a right-sided subdural hemorrhage. He received
emergency medical treatment and underwent craniotomy to remove the lacerated
portions of brain as well as subtemporal decompression, followed by a
decompressive craniectomy the following day to remove an intracerebral hematoma
due to late-onset temporo-parietal rebleeding. Twelve days after surgery, the
patient remained in poor condition due to serious complications and the GCS was
E2VeM4. His family then underwent counseling and he subsequently received
acupuncture treatment. Intervention and outcome: This patient was treated with
acupuncture three times each week, consisting of strong stimulation at GV26
(Shuigou) and the 12 Well points using the half-needling technique. After 3 weeks
of consecutive treatment, his GCS score improved to E4VtM6. In addition, he
regained consciousness and could tolerate rehabilitation programs. Conclusions:
We believe that an experienced physician may use acupuncture as complementary
therapy in patients with TBI who fail to regain consciousness postoperatively.

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