The Korea Herald


Horror stories of acupuncture gone wrong

By Korea Herald

Published : Sept. 5, 2012 - 17:49

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A recent study conducted by the U.K.’s National Patient Safety Agency found that there are perils to acupuncture that can lead to severe health damage, according to news reports.

Acupuncture has been a medical treatment since the Chinese discovered it 2,000 years ago. The essence of acupuncture was to puncture the body at specific points that connect with “energy pathways” that link the body. Many used acupuncture as a way to cure a range of health issues including migraines, tooth aches, depression, allergies and even infertility.

However, in the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, researchers say that acupuncture may not be as safe as previously thought and can lead to life-threatening health issues. They report that there were 325 reports of harmed patients in just the last two years.

The 325 reports included 100 cases where needles were left in the body, 63 cases where patients lost consciousness, 99 cases where the patient felt dizzy or faint, and five cases where the needle accidentally penetrated the chest of the patient, giving the patient a collapsed lung. Formally known as pneumothorax, a collapsed lung can be fatal if not treated immediately by artificially inflation.

Edzard Ernst, a professor involved in the research from the Peninsula Medical School in Cornwall, England, said that the problem may be even bigger than the study indicates, due to under-reporting.

From news reports