In the afternoon of May 10,2009, Dr.Arthur Yin Fan, a Chinese medicine doctor, acupuncturist, was invited to see a coma patient in Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Neuro-Critical Care Unit in Baltomore, Maryland. This is based on Dr.Fan’s special background-he was trained extensively in Chinese Medicine and neurology and clinical experience in China’s hospital, also based on colleague’s strong referring.
The patient was severely injured by a car accident, already fell into deep coma 46 days with severe brain hemorragic contusions (multiple lobes),diiffusive axonal injury, currently also with ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and infections. Due to the good medical team’s rescuing, patient’s condition is still under the controll.
There were two other CMDs/acupuncturists also seeing this patient in the same time, so we had a meeting with patient’s doctors. Dased on patient’s condition, his doctors accept our suggestion for adding the acupuncture, but they are very hesitate to use Chinese herbal products. And more important, because this is an urgent consultation, all treatments in Chinese medicine or Complementary medicine need the hospital authority’s formal approval.
A few thoughts:
1. Nowadays, more and more Americans, including the conventional MDs, accept acupuncture, but still at the beginning stage. The most famous American hospital-Johns Hopkins University Hospital already has its own licensed acupuncturist, although the acupuncturist currently is only in oncology department. Its Neuro-Critical Care Unit will have its own acupuncturist–currently she is a registered nurse working in this Unit. She plans to use acupuncture in critical patients.
I hope in near future, the Johns Hopkins University Hospital will have its own Oriental Medicine department, and integrating acupuncture and other Oriental medicine contents into Coventional medicine.
To the patient we saw, the Unit will contact the acupuncturist in oncology department, she may involve in the actual treatments.
2. There are too little information in Chinese herbology in conventional medicine, so how to bridge Chinese herbal therapy into western hospital is still a big challenge, especially for the rescue treatment of patient with critical condition. Too little translation information from China.
3. We suggested use wild American ginsheng and An Gong Niu Huang Wan, a famous herbal product in rescuing patients in Chinese medicine. However, it might be very difficult to pass the approval process in this hospital.