A 10-YEAR-OLD boy from a poor family in Sichuan province has finally received an operation to treat his congenital heart disease, thanks to a Shanghai hospital that used acupuncture anesthesia to reduce side effects and reducing half the medical expenses.
The boy, Wang Wenbin, was the youngest patient ever to China to undergo the procedure based on the needle, under which doctors are able to reduce the dosage of anesthetic drugs by a fifth to a third and allow the patient to breathe by himself instead of using a respirator, the hospital said yesterday.
During surgery, doctors in Shanghai Shuguang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital inserted needles at several points on the hands and chest.
The advantage is that general anesthesia requires a large dose of anesthetic and creates possible adverse side effects in the brain, especially for a sick child. It may also lung infection associated with the use of a respirator.
"After starting the practice in late 2005, we have done for surgery of the heart, brain, abdomen and nose, and expanded patient age," said Dr Shen Weidong, director Shuguang Hospital of the acupuncture department. "Doctors, however, must carefully select patients for acupuncture anesthesia.
Wang medical problem - a hole between two chambers of the heart - was discovered at birth. He did not receive surgery earlier because the family was unable to raise 30,000 yuan (U.S. $ 4367) in medical costs.
He was admitted to hospital last month Shuguang severe chest discomfort and underwent the operation on August 3
Doctors said he is recovering very well and grow normally after the operation.
"As a national research base for acupuncture anesthesia, the hospital is working on a guide to practice acupuncture anesthesia and patient selection for hospitals," said Shen.
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