A new study has found that nauseated patients in the emergency department are twice as likely to benefit from sniffing pads saturated with isopropyl alcohol to obtain relief from their symptoms than sniffing pads saturated with saline solution.
"We love it when we find a cheap, easy and fast way to bring relief to our patients," said lead study author Kenneth Beadle, EMPA-C, of the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium in San Antonio, Texas. "Nausea and vomiting are the chief complaint for nearly five million emergency patients every year, so this remedy has the potential to help a lot of people."
‘Alcohol saturated wipes can be used as a remedy for relieving nausea and improving satisfaction among emergency department patients.’
Researchers administered pads saturated with either isopropyl alcohol or saline solution and instructed nauseated patients to inhale deeply through their noses from the pad every two minutes for four minutes, for a maximum of three inhalations. Within 10 minutes of the intervention, the nausea score in the alcohol patients was half that of the saline solution patients. The satisfaction score for the alcohol patients was double the satisfaction score for the saline solution patients.
"Alcohol wipes are safe and there were no adverse effects," said Dr. Beadle. "Further research is warranted to test the duration of the effect and performance in comparison to traditional, pharmaceutical anti-emetics. That said, the available evidence suggests these alcohol wipes may be a potent tool for relieving nausea and improving satisfaction among our emergency patients."
The study "Isopropyl Alcohol Nasal Inhalation for Nausea in the Emergency Department: A Randomized Controlled Trial" is published online in Annals of Emergency Medicine.