Archive November 2018 XIX, No. 11

All-Natural PONV Remedies

Can these alternative treatments help you prevent post-op nausea and vomiting?

Jared Bilski



PONV-FREE RECOVERY It's far easier to prevent nausea than to treat nausea. Are non-drug approaches to prevent PONV worth a try.

Nothing leaves a bad taste in a patient's mouth like feeling queasy while recovering after surgery. The good news: Simple, non-pharmaceutical treatments can help prevent post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV). And we're not talking about flat ginger ale, but alternative holistic and non-pharmacological preventive approaches: aromatherapy, acupuncture and acupressure. Plus, we update you on 3 promising antiemetics that could soon hit the market (see "3 PONV Drugs in the Pipeline").

1. Aromatherapy

SCENTSATIONAL Like a car air freshener, you can peel away aromatherapy patches attached to patients' gowns a little at a time until the maximum scent is released.

Aromatherapy has proven to be an effective way to reduce PONV, either as a monotherapy or in conjunction with pharmacologic antiemetics. We asked Lenora Brown, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, a nurse practitioner on short surgical stay at Weill Cornell Medical Center at New York (N.Y.) Presbyterian Hospital, to share the results of her recently completed study on the stomach-settling effects ascribed to the aromatic compounds in essential oils and other plant extracts.

The inspiration for Dr. Brown's study came from something she observed right on her own unit. Why is it, she wondered, did some patients arrive in her 20-bed short-stay unit with nausea, while others did not. Despite coming from different areas of the hospital, the patients with the calm stomachs wore a lavender and saddlewood aromatherapy clip-on patch on their gowns.

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