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June 17, 1974

Complications of Acupuncture

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville (Dr. Carron), and the departments of anesthesiology (Dr. Epstein) and medicine (Dr. Grand), George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 1974;228(12):1552-1554. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230370034019

Advocates of acupuncture therapy have claimed that no danger exists in acupuncture and that it can never be harmful. The inappropriate use of this treatment and its performance without adequate supervision, however, may result in complications that can be disfiguring, painful, and life-threatening. Six such incidents are described. It is recommended that the procedure be considered experimental and performed only in a study setting. Patients undergoing such therapy should be advised of its potential hazards.

(JAMA 228:1552-1554, 1974)