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Emergency Room (ER) doctors have to deal with severe health conditions that require swift intervention, usually with rapidly-acting drugs. There may appear to be no space for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) - and acupuncture in particular - in this context, thanks to the widespread belief that this kind of traditional medicine requires more time to act. This article describes the use of TCM in an ER in Italy. Through the description of several cases the author shows that acupuncture can be effective either alone, or in combination with Western medicine, for both diagnosis and treatment of conditions not normally seen in private TCM clinics.
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