Herbal Product Use by Hispanic Surgical Patients

Rivera, Jos&eaute; O.; Chaudhuri, Kallol; González-Stuart, Armando; Tyroch, Alan; Chaudhuri, Swapna
January 2005
American Surgeon;Jan2005, Vol. 71 Issue 1, p71
Academic Journal
We hypothesized that the use of herbal products is highly prevalent in Hispanic surgical patients on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border. One hundred fifteen patients were interviewed in El Paso and 112 in Ciudad Juarez from December 2001 to June 2002. This prospective, randomized study evaluated patients aged 18 years or older that were scheduled for surgery. Sixty-two per cent of our sample in the United States and 81 per cent of patients in Mexico reported using herbal products in the past year. About 58 per cent of patients in the United States and 49 per cent in Mexico rated the products as "excellent" in treating their conditions. Ninety-two percent of U.S, and 93 per cent of Mexican patients did not inform their physician of their herbal use. Preoperative assessment of patients did not include inquiries about herbal products in either hospital. With the growing vise of herbal products and because most users do not inform their physician, there is increasing concern related to the possible occurrence of herbal-related adverse events during and after surgery. The fact that health care personnel did not inquire about herbal product use before surgery is an added concern.


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