Acupuncture triggers elderly patient's pneumothorax

The 79-year-old followed-up with her GP, who organised a chest X-ray and referral: case report

It’s considered a relatively safe procedure, but acupuncture comes with risks as a 79-year-old woman discovered following her first visit to an acupuncturist for back pain.

complementary treatment

Two days after feeling an immediate sharp pain when acupuncture needles were inserted into her interscapular area, the woman was in hospital with a pneumothorax.

“Despite being considered relatively safe, acupuncture is an invasive procedure and carries undeniable risk of complications,” write doctors from the Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Lisboa Central in Lisbon, Portugal.