|Posted on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 12:18: |
Dear Dr. Halevi:
I am both an ICU Social Worker and a Licensed Acupuncturist in Tucson, Arizona. Unfortunately, these two roles are separate as the hospital I work in has not yet jumped on the integrative medicine bandwagon.
The hospital I work in serves a primarily low income population and approximately 40% of our patients are Native Americans. You may be well aware that diabetes and its complications are prevalent within the Native American population. Consequently, I have seen countless individuals lose their limbs and/or die from complications related to diabetic ulcerations.
In my role of ICU social worker I have earned the trust and respect of many physician's, most notably the vascular surgeon who performs most of the revascularizations and amputations at our hospital. As yet, he is a skeptic about the role of acupuncture in treating diabetic abscesses, but I feel that it may be possible to "win him over" on an experimental basis. I propose to treat a patient, closely under his supervision, primarily using the guidelines as set out in your article, but of course altering the treatment plan depending upon the particular pattern discrimination of that patient. I will do this for a nominal fee of 50.00 to cover the entire treatment plan, from start to finish.
I would be honored if you would be willing to offer support and guidance to me in this process. I expect that it may take months before this surgeon actually comes around to agreeing to this joint venture, and indeed, he may never agree to it, so I may never need to call upon your support, but should this project get underway it would be very nice if I could run things by you from time to time and ask your advice, etc.
I am particularly interested in the green tea dressing. Is it simply applied to the wound with a sterile dressing or is the wound covered by a sterile dressing and changed 3 times per day? And when the wound must be covered for out of the home travel, etc do you recommend that the patient apply the green tea dressing and then cover with a sterile gauze pad? and one more question, do your patients continue to take either p.o or IV antibiotics during the course of the acupuncture treatments?
Please forgive me if it is inappropriate for me to be asking you these questions, but I must admit that I do not have much experience treating serious, infectious skin conditions and would appreciate any support you feel comfortable providing.
Marcey R. L.Ac.
|Posted on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 16:37: |
Hi Marcey, thank you for your Email. Of course I'll be willing to assist as much as I can. Feel free to post a message here whenever you need any advice. Maybe also other practitioners will join in and share with us their ideas on this important issue.
I am particularly interested in the green tea dressing. Is it simply applied to the wound with a sterile dressing or is the wound covered by a sterile dressing and changed 3 times per day? And when the wound must be covered for out of the home travel, etc do you recommend that the patient apply the green tea dressing and then cover with a sterile gauze pad?
As for the green tea dressing, the patient is usually instructed to apply it three times a day, each time for around 1/2 an hour. Then it is removed and the abscess stays naked without even a bandage. The principle here is to let it dry and be exposed to the air as much as possible. When they travel, they simply cover it lightly with a sterile light bandage. Thus, the role of the green tea is simply to disinfect and dry the ulceration. It also has some anti bacterial properties, albeit not very strong.
do your patients continue to take either p.o or IV antibiotics during the course of the acupuncture treatments?
The answer is no, they don't. Mainly because it doesn't help them in the first place, secondly because that if they develop secondary inflammations in the course of the treatment, I treat them directly for that too. The thing is Marcey, that you must be very proficient and experienced in treating acute inflammatory conditions with needles in the first place. If you are not absolutely confident that you can overcome a severe acute tonsilitis or cystitis only by acupuncture, you can not start right away with gangrene which is a far more dangerous condition.