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Papers of the Week

2021 Dec 14

Am J Emerg Med


Battlefield acupuncture instead of opioids for abscess drainage in the pediatric emergency department.


Tsai S-L, Christie TD, Niemtzow RC
Am J Emerg Med. 2021 Dec 14; 53:12-15.
PMID: 34968969.


Procedural analgesia with opioids is often needed during incision and drainage (I/D) of pilonidal or large abscesses in the pediatric emergency department (PED). In response to the ongoing opioid misuse pandemic, the Joint Commission has mandated that nonpharmacologic therapies be offered to patients for pain first. Battlefield Acupuncture (BFA) is an auricular acupuncture protocol that is drug free, can achieve rapid pain relief, and is used in the United States military. BFA for painful procedures in the PED has not been reported. We describe 4 cases where BFA was utilized in a PED for pain during I/D of abscesses.