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The latest study by a group of researchers at the National Patient Safety Agency and the Department of Complementary Medicine at the Peninsula Medical School has found a variety of complications with the NHS acupuncture scheme.

The review studied the reported harms from acupuncture treatments given within the NHS and concluded over a three-year period an identified 325 patient safety incidents related to acupuncture treatment.

The Daily Mail have since ran a story warning patients of the potential dangers of acupuncture with hundreds of previous cases including accounts of dizziness, vomiting and even collapsed lung which accounted for 1.5% of incidents.
The most commonly reported adverse accidents which accounted for 95.5% of reports were judged to present no or very low risk of harm to patients included temporary loss of consciousness and acupuncture needles being left in patients for longer than prescribed.

However a significant drawback of the research was the lack of information on the number of acupuncture treatments given within the NHS during the same period, resulting in a lack of knowledge for how common such harms are.

Darbys Solicitors, whose specialist team of medical negligence solicitor’s deal with a variety of medical accident and injury cases believe the possible harms and dangers of acupuncture should be made more aware, especially as public interest in acupuncture increases within the NHS.

Speaking on behalf of the firm Richard Money-Kyrle, a medical negligence claims specialist for over 12 years stated, “There is only reliable evidence that acupuncture is effective for chronic lower back pain treatment. There is no confirmed scientific evidence that acupuncture works for many of the conditions for which it is used for such as joint pain and migraines.

“The adverse events in the study tend to by mild and rare in most cases, however there is good reason that the problem is substantially higher. Patients need to be made more aware of the risks of acupuncture before the industry sees a rise in clinical negligence claims as a direct result.”

Darbys Solicitors are medical negligence solicitors specialising in NHS medical negligence claims. For more information about their legal services call 0800 524 4349.

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