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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2021, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (5): 460-466.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.06.001

Special Issue: COVID-19

• Case Report • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Recovery of a patient with severe COVID-19 by acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine adjuvant to standard care

Xin Yina, Shu-bin Caib, Lan-ting Taoc, Lu-ming Chenb, Zhong-de Zhangd, Su-hong Xiaoe,f,g, Arthur Yin Fanf,g,h, Xu Zoua   

  1. a Department of Critical Care Medicine, Second Clinical College, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510120, Guangdong Province, China
    b Department of General Medicine No. 3 Division, Second Clinical College, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510120, Guangdong Province, China
    c Department of Emergency Medicine, Second Clinical College, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510120, Guangdong Province, China
    Second Clinical College, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510120, Guangdong Province, China
    SH Clinic for Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46268, USA
    TCM American Alumni Association (TCMAAA), Indianapolis, IN 46268, USA
    American TCM Association (ATCMA), Vienna, VA 22182, USA
    McLean Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, PLC, Vienna, VA 22182, USA
  • Received:2020-10-29 Accepted:2021-01-06 Online:2021-09-15 Published:2021-06-09

There is currently no drug or therapy that can cure the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is highly contagious and can be life-threatening in severe cases. Therefore, seeking potential effective therapies is an urgent task. An older female at the Leishenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China, with a severe case of COVID-19 with significant shortness of breath and decrease in peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2), was treated using manual acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine granule formula Fuzheng Rescue Lung with Xuebijing Injection in addition to standard care. The patient’s breath rate, SpO2, heart rate, ratio of neutrophil/lymphocyte (NLR), ratio of monocyte/lymphocyte (MLR), C-reactive protein (CRP), and chest computed tomography were monitored. Acupuncture significantly improved the patient’s breathing function, increased SpO2, and decreased her heart rate. Chinese herbal medicine might make the effect of acupuncture more stable; the use of herbal medicine also seemed to accelerate the absorption of lung infection lesions when its dosage was increased. The combination of acupuncture and herbs decreased NLR from 14.14 to 5.83, MLR from 1.15 to 0.33 and CRP from 15.25 to 6.01 mg/L. These results indicate that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, as adjuvants to standard care, might achieve better results in treating severe cases of COVID-19.

Key words: COVID-19, Severe case, Case report, Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Integrative therapy

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