Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore, whether treatment with bloodletting at Shaoshang LU 11 and Shangyang LI 1 acupuncture points would affect therapy outcome and prognosis for severe community-acquired pneumonia in the elderly.
Methods: A total of 62 patients, who met the diagnostic criteria for severe community-acquired pneumonia, were enrolled in the study and randomly divided into two groups, i.e., treatment group (n = 31) and control group (n = 31). All patients received a therapy according to the Chinese Clinical Practice and Expert Consensus of Emergency Severe Pneumonia from 2016. In addition to that, a bloodletting at Shaoshang LU 11 and Shangyang LI 1 acupuncture points was applied for the treatment group.
This intervention was repeated for three times (ones daily), bloodletting a volume of 2-3 ml at each time point. Differences in a main index of clinical efficacy, body temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate, white blood cell count, neutrophil percentage (N%), and C-reactive protein level as well as different scores (CURB-65 score, SOFA score, and Apache II score) were compared between groups. Moreover, the 28-day mortality was compared between treatment and control group. The statistical methods involved in carrying out the current study include t-test, Wilcoxon test, and chi-square test.
Results: The clinical effective rate of the treatment group was 82.9%, which was significantly higher than the 17.1% in the control group (P < 0.05). After finishing the intervention, the treatment group showed significantly lower body temperature (37.28 ± 0.54 vs. 37.82 ± 0.81), respiratory rate (20.06 ± 2.67 vs. 23.71 ± 6.85), heart rate (81.71 ± 10.38 vs. 93.84 ± 15.39), CUBR-65 score (2.16 ± 0.74 vs. 3.03 ± 0.98), and SOFA score (5.84 ± 3.83 vs. 8.16 ± 4.2) compared to the control group (P < 0.05). The 28-day mortality rate of the treatment group was significantly lower than in the control group (12.9% vs. 45.2%, P = 0.05).
Conclusions: Bloodletting at Shaoshang LU 11 and Shangyang LI 1 acupuncture points can support improving the clinical treatment efficacy for severe community-acquired pneumonia and reduce the 28-day mortality rate in the elderly.