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Revista de la Facultad de Medicina

Print version ISSN 0120-0011


TORRES-TASCON, Luis Fernando  and  HERNANDEZ-LEAL, Liliana. Evaluating the safety of acupuncture regarding follow-up involving 297,168 punctures. [online]. 2014, vol.62, n.3, pp.1-24. ISSN 0120-0011.

As many articles have appeared in in medical journals referring to adverse effects related to acupuncture, procedural omissions regarding how they were done and those actually doing the acupuncture this has suggested that acupuncture involves a high-risk procedure. This document thus presents follow-up regarding the occurrence of adverse effects during consultations at the office of a doctor practising acupuncture who had ample clinical experience to evaluate case reports and determine the safety of acupuncture. The study covered a 72-month period during which the doctor held 24,707 consultations and during which 260 adverse effects were found out of 297,168 punctures thus giving a rate of 0.87 times per 1,000 and 7 out of 2,390 moxa points for a rate of 2.92 per 1,000 (moxibustion/moxa refers to heat treatment involving burning the mugwort herb but not puncturing the skin). The most frequent adverse effect for acupuncture was the appearance of ecchymosis-hematomas (0.65 per 1,000 incidence rate). The only adverse effect regarding moxibustion concerned burns (2.92 per 1,000 incidence rate). No major adverse effects required medical attention. In brief, it may be deemed that acupuncture in expert hands represents safe medical practice.

Keywords : Acupuncture; Risk; Safety.

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