Insufficient training, another collapsed lung

by Jason Tutt on February 13, 2015 in Blog with No Comments


I talked about in a previous post that improper training in needling of any kind, whether Acupuncture, dry needling/IMS or injection therapy can be dangerous, and here is another piece of evidence to prove it. A massage therapist, who received his Acupuncture training from a continuing education institute called the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute, offers training to health care practitioners such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, medical doctors and massage therapists.

But when compared to an acupuncturist who receives an average of 450 to 600 hands-on clinic hours in order to write the licensing board exam, this institute only requires 200 hours of total training, which is mostly online work and 50 hours of on-site training. In my opinion, this is not enough training to be working on real patients without direct supervision from an instructor or person licensed to perform Acupuncture to make sure your needle depth and angle are correct.

In this unfortunate case, the victim was a former Olympian who competed in the 2000 Olympics in Judo.  She went in to be treated for a headache, and the massage therapist chose to needle this patient’s chest area. The needle penetrated the chest wall and collapsed the patient’s lung which left it permanently damaged.. Shortly after leaving the clinic, the patient began having difficulty breathing, chest pain and a “grinding” sensation. She returned to the clinic and was told that it was probably a muscle spasm, but to go to the hospital if symptoms worsened.

The next morning, she did feel worse and finally headed to the emergency department. The patient’s lung had indeed collapsed and she spent the next two weeks in hospital, as a serious lung infection and then a blood infection followed.  She was left with just 55% function in one lung

Read the full story: Canadian Olympian’s ‘nightmare’ after acupuncture needle collapses her lung

As stated in my previous post on improper training, seeking an adequately trained practitioner for needling is imperative, if you want to minimize the risks of adverse events that are rare according to my own evidence based analysis on properly trained Acupuncturists. In fact, a large portion of reported instances of pneumothorax were performed by untrained or improperly trained practitioners.

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