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Fact Check: Pricking needles on fingertips or pulling ears of the stroke victim can save his life is a misleading post

New Delhi (Vishvas News). A widely circulated message on social media claims that pricking a needle on the fingertips of a stroke victim can save his life as he will gain consciousness in some time. The post further states that if the victim’s mouth is crooked, one should pull his ears until they are red and prick them until they bleed. Supposedly, this technique will stop capillaries in the victim’s brain from bursting. As per the post, Chinese experts claim that this method is 100% efficient and it can really help you to save someone’s life from a stroke. Vishvas News investigated and found that the viral post is misleading.

Claim

A viral post on Facebook claims that pricking a needle on the fingertips of a stroke victim can save his life as he will gain consciousness in some time. The post further states that if the victim’s mouth is crooked, one should pull his ears until they are red and prick them until they bleed. Supposedly, this technique will stop capillaries in the victim’s brain from bursting. As per the post, Chinese experts claim that this method is 100% efficient and it can really help you to save someone’s life from a stroke

Investigation

Vishvas News started its investigation by searching the viral claim on the internet using appropriate keywords. We found that the message has been circulating online since at least 2003.

We further researched and found an article published on the website of The New York Times. As per the article, “the viral post claiming that the life of a stroke victim can be saved by pricking needles on finger tips or pulling his ears has no scientific basis. In fact, following its advice can do harm.”

Mentioning about the repercussions of following the needle pricking and ear pulling technique, Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, Director of the Duke Stroke Center said: “Pricking the victim’s finger is a bad idea, not only because it is futile, but because doing so can delay medical treatment, which is the only thing that can help.”

Vishvas News further searched and found a report published by Dr. Steven P. Novella, an American clinical neurologist and assistant professor at Yale University School of Medicine. In his report on he website of NEUROLOGICAblog, Dr. Steven P. Novella notes: “First let me dispense with the claims that are made – primarily that minute bleeding through finger or earlobe pricks will prevent permanent damage from a stroke.

There are actually several kinds of stroke. The term refers to the presentation of symptoms – stroke-like or sudden in appearance. The two main types of stroke are hemmorhagic and ischemic. Hemmorhagic strokes are caused by bleeding into the brain. Ischemic strokes are caused by lack of blood flow to a portion of the brain, and are further divided by the cause of the blockage. Ischemic strokes can also secondarily bleed from the damage to the brain tissue and its blood vessels.

There is no situation in which all of the capillaries in the brain burst – this is not part of a stroke. The closest thing to this that actually occurs is that an ischemic stroke may subsequently bleed, but there is no evidence or any plausible reason to think that any of the things mentioned in this e-mail would lead to or prevent secondary bleeding.

Further, pricking the fingers or earlobes would cause (thankfully) a negligible amount of bleeding and would not in any way affect the stroke victim’s hemodynamics. And if it did,that would just worsen the stroke by decreasing brain perfusion and oxygen delivery.”

The viral message also states that Chinese experts claim that this method is 100% efficient and it can really help you to save someone’s life from a stroke.

In order to verify the claim, we searched and found a 2005 study by the Tianjin College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The object of the study was to “observe the effect of blood-letting puncture at Twelve Well-Points of Hand on consciousness and heart rate in patients with early apoplexy”. The results of the study suggested that “Blood-letting puncture at Twelve Well-Points of Hand can improve the consciousness and raise the systolic pressure in patients of the mild injury team”. However, it needs to be noted that the patients who participated in the study were already properly diagnosed and hospitalized and the seemingly positive results only applied to the “mild injury” group. The article certainly does not advise or even imply that such a bloodletting technique should ever be used at home on stroke victims in place of seeking immediate medical treatment.

As per an article on the website of Mayoclinic, one should seek immediate medical assistance in case of stroke. The article states: “A stroke is a true emergency. The sooner treatment is given, the more likely it is that damage can be minimized. Every moment counts.”

Vishvas News spoke to Dr Gururaj Mallikarjun who is a Neurologist. He said: “the claims mentioned in the viral message are completely fake and baseless. There is no authenticity in the message. One should seek immediate medical assistance in case of stroke.”

Conclusion

The viral post of Facebook claiming that claims that pricking a needle on the fingertips of a stroke victim or pulling his ears can save his life is misleading.

  • Claim Review : pricking a needle on the fingertips of a stroke victim can save his life as he will gain consciousness in some time.
  • Claimed By : Fb User- Jeff Garcia
  • Fact Check : Misleading
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