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Acupuncture is not as safe as most people think

Acupuncture is an ancient healing method in China. Today, acupuncture is still used to treat a number of diseases such as headache, back pain, joint pain … Currently, acupuncture is not only popular in China but also quite popular in some countries. Other Asian countries such as Vietnam, Japan, Korea … Even some Western countries such as the United States and the UK … acupuncture is also selected by many patients for treatment.

Acupuncture is a relatively safe, less complicated cure. However, acupuncture is not absolutely safe as we think, in addition to minor complications such as pain, bleeding, infection … a serious and quite common complication due to that acupuncture is pneumothorax ( pneumothorax).

Image of right pneumothorax, right lung is forced into the mediastinum

When acupuncture is applied to the back, chest, if the needle is too deep, it can cause damage to the lungs, causing air to escape into the pleural cavity (the cavity between the chest and lungs). This cavity normally has no air, but only a few fluids to smooth, making the lungs easy to expand and shrink. Gas escaping from the pleural cavity will squeeze the lungs into the mediastinum, which can cause lung collapse, causing chest pain, difficulty breathing … severe cases of respiratory failure and death. Pneumothorax after acupuncture was quite common, there have been many reports of this complication. Patients with pneumothorax should be treated in the hospital to suck and drain air in the pleural space out. Severe cases may require surgical intervention.

Although extremely rare, there have been several deaths after acupuncture due to needle piercing into the heart chamber or due to pneumothorax causing respiratory failure and death.

Like other treatments such as surgery, injection, intravenous infusion, medication, vaccination … acupuncture is relatively safe but there are also risks and most complications can occur. determined. To ensure safety, we need to have reputable hospitals and facilities to treat it so that if there is a disaster, it can be handled promptly.


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