Alcohol pad for nausea????

  1. Hello fellow pacu nurses!! I took a turn on the other side and became a surgery patient. I had some post op nausea and was given Zofran . Before that became effective the nurse gave me an alcohol pad to 'sniff'. I was very confused by this idea, since I had not heard of this before while working in the pacu myself.
    It did work for the nausea after a couple of 'sniffs'. Can anyone explain how this works in laymens terms or technical?
    •  
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   MandyInMS
    I'm not sure how it works but it seems to..we have a new surgeon that ordered this and I was like wth?? lol..curious as to it works myself.
  4. by   RNKPCE
    We do it too in the surgery center I work at. Especially if their IV is dc'd and their are about ready to go home. It seems to work.
  5. by   ageless
    ontrolled, deep breathing relieves nausea in many patients recovering from surgery, according to a study conducted at the Health Center.

    "Deep breathing alone appears to give relief from nausea," said Lynn Anderson, a registered nurse, who conducted the study with anesthesiologist Jeffrey Gross. She presented the results of her study at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiolo gists late last year.

    "Deeply breathing the vapors of alcohol, peppermint, and a saline solution all worked equally well to relieve nausea in patients recovering from surgery," says Anderson, assistant nurse manager of the Post Anesthetic Care Unit at the Health Center.

    Nausea scores were cut in half at five minutes after the breathing therapy, whether the patients breathed in alcohol, peppermint, or the placebo saline solution, she says. The use of anti-vomiting drugs was cut in half among patients in the study, and satisfaction scores were high.

    "We were pretty surprised that it worked as well as it did and that patients were so pleased with the treatment," says Anderson. "Overall satisfaction was 87 percent - extremely high when you consider that the patients were pretty uncomfortable to begin with. They had to be complaining of nausea to be included in the study.

    "We started our study to determine whether the aroma of alcohol or peppermint worked better to relieve nausea," Anderson says. "Our curiosity began after Dr. Gross asked the nurses to let post-operative patients inhale alcohol vapors when they were feeling nausea. We didn't think much of the idea at first, so we were amazed to find that it really seemed to work. Then we heard that the aroma of peppermint also worked to relieve nausea. So we wanted to find out which worked better."

    Anderson and Gross studied 33 ambulatory surgery patients who reported nausea in the Post Anesthetic Care Unit. They were divided into three groups. One group received aromatherapy using isopropyl alcohol. Another group received the therapy using oil of peppermint, and the third group inhaled a placebo saline solution. With scented gauze pads held directly beneath their nostrils, patients were instructed to inhale slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth three times.

    The patients were assessed for nausea at two and five minutes. The aromatherapy exercises halved nausea scores at five minutes after treatment, regardless of aroma, including the placebo. Nearly half the study patients (45 percent) still required medication for nausea during their stay in the unit, but typically 100 percent of the patients complaining of nausea would have received the drugs. "We think that's a big improvement," Anderson says.

    "Physiologically, we think the deep breathing worked to reduce nausea because of the closeness of the vomiting center to the respiratory center in the brain," she adds. "Perhaps when the respiratory center in the brain is focused on taking controlled deep breaths, the vomiting center might be less able to process thoughts about nausea."

    The breathing therapy has become part of routine practice in the Post Anesthetic Care Unit. And it has spread to other parts of the hospital, including obstetrics and inpatient surgery units. "It's cheap, immediately effective, and there are no known side effects," says Anderson. "It's even better than we thought."



    http://www.advance.uconn.edu/02022508.htm
  6. by   Cubby
    Is it only effective for post-op patients, or does it work for the general population?
  7. by   MikeLPN
    I've done it. So far it's worked much better than I care to believe.
  8. by   sharann
    It works! I had a "dinosaur"(experienced) PACU nurse give me this tidbit years ago while I was still a student. My co-workers still don't take me seriously, but my pts do!!!
    It works well honestly. It have sved me many a time in those elevators during a transfer when the pt gets green(keep a supply in your pocket and and emesis basins under your gurneys)
  9. by   TonyaPacu
    Thanks for all of the replies to my thread. I just wish I knew the pharmakokinetics behind the issue.
  10. by   ageless
    Quote from TonyaPacu
    Thanks for all of the replies to my thread. I just wish I knew the pharmakokinetics behind the issue.
    "Nausea scores were cut in half at five minutes after the breathing therapy, whether the patients breathed in alcohol, peppermint, or the placebo saline solution, she says. The use of anti-vomiting drugs was cut in half among patients in the study, and satisfaction scores were high."


    "Physiologically, we think the deep breathing worked to reduce nausea because of the closeness of the vomiting center to the respiratory center in the brain," she adds. "Perhaps when the respiratory center in the brain is focused on taking controlled deep breaths, the vomiting center might be less able to process thoughts about nausea."

    I think the article I posted earlier answers your question. According to finding is the study, an interaction of a drug and the body in terms of absorption and metabolism is not necessary. The study show even a saline placebo works because the focus of the patient is on breathing and not on the nausea. Seems to be similar to the Gate Control Pain Theory.... the brain has a limited amount of receptors that can process information at one given time.

close