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The effect of capsicum plaster in pain after inguinal hernia repair in children

Journal title
Paediatric anaesthesia
Publication year
Kim, K. S.; Kim, D. W.; Yu, Y. K.

BACKGROUND: Capsicum plaster at a classical Chinese acupoint is an alternative to acupuncture, which has been used as a supplemental therapy to opioid analgesics for pain control during the postoperative period. We investigated the postoperative analgesic efficacy of capsicum plaster at Zusanli (ST-36) points after pediatric hernia repair. METHODS: This double-blind, sham-controlled study was designed in 108 children, aged 4 month to 9 year, undergoing unilateral hernia repair, and was randomly assigned to three treatment regimens: group Zusanli (Z)=capsicum plaster at Zusanli acupoints and placebo tape on the shoulder as a nonacupoint, group Sham (S)=capsicum plaster on the shoulders and placebo tape at Zusanli acupoints, and group control (C)=placebo tape at Zusanli acupoints and on the shoulder. The postoperative pain scores and analgesic requirements during 24 h postoperatively were assessed. RESULTS: Total meperidine consumption was significantly lower in group Z (0.87+/-0.35 compared with group C (1.27+/-0.41 and S (1.22+/-0.45 (P<0.001). The pain scores on both the objective pain scale (OPS) and the Children Hospital of Ontario Pain Scale (CHEOPS), were significantly lower in group Z compared with the other groups at 6 and 24 h postoperatively, but not at the 10 min and 1 h postoperative time periods. CONCLUSIONS: Placement of capsicum plaster at the Zusanli points reduces pain and postoperative opioid consumption in children undergoing inguinal hernia repair, but not in the first six postoperative hours.

Research abstracts