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January 1975

Misdiagnosis Complicating Acupuncture

Author Affiliations

From the Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Section of Otolaryngology, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1975;101(1):36. doi:10.1001/archotol.1975.00780300040010

A 33-year-old man, profoundly deaf since the age of 5 from meningitis, received 25 acupuncture treatments at a center in western Massachusetts. Subsequent hearing evaluation at the Yale New Haven Medical Center again confirmed his profound deafness. He also was found to have cerumen (rock-hard and long standing) in both ear canals. Final removal of the cerumen one week later permitted inspection of a normal eardrum on the right and a debris-filled retraction pocket on the left. The diagnosis of cholesteatoma was confirmed at surgery.

Representatives of the medical profession should accept responsibility for adequate examination and diagnosis before starting treatment.