Common acupuncture adverse events or reaction
1. Needle fainting during acupuncture treatment
For patients who are on their first visit or have a serious phobia about needles, a reassuring explanation is necessary. The patient’s complexion will be closely observed to check for any early symptoms of needle fainting, such as discomfort, dizziness, pale face, tiredness, sudden cold sweat, cold limbs, weak breathing, pale and green complexion, blue lips, low blood pressure, or obnubilation. If these symptoms occur, the needles should be removed as soon as possible. The patient is then kepthorizontal with feet slightly raised, and offered warm sugar water. If the symptoms are serious, DU-26 (Shui Gou), DU-25 (Su Liao), PC-6 (Nei Guan), and ST-36 (Zu San Li) points are selected as emergency points. If the symptoms persist, other professional hospital emergency measures may need to taken.
All acupuncturists must determine whether the participants have a history of convulsion.If a patient has a convulsion history during acupuncture treatment, close observation is needed. The practitioner will remove all the needles and take some emergency measures. If the disease is not immediately controlled or the convulsions persist, the participants must be transferred to the emergency center immediately.
3. Severe pains
Severe pains during and after treatment are usually caused by improper needle manipulation or strong stimulation. If the pain is of low intensity, a local compress is used to stop the pain; if the pain is heavier, moxibustion can be applied.
4. Needle sticking
If needle sticking occurs, the patients will be required to relax. If the stickingis caused by twisting the needle inone direction, the problem is solved by rotating the needle in the opposite direction. If the sticking is caused by the over-contraction of the muscle, the needles are removed and the local area of the acupuncture points is pressed, where the needle is stuck, or another needle is placed in the local area, to distract the patients’ attention. If the situation occurs because of a change in the patients’ position, it will be relieved when the patient resumes the correct position.
5. Local infections
If a strict aseptic operation is ignored, local infection occurs. Once the infection is diagnosed, proper treatment will be needed or drug therapy is suggested.
6. Subcutaneous hematoma
During the acupuncture treatment, swelling and bruising may occur when subcutaneous tiny vessels are broken. Ice and local pressure are used to stop the bleeding; at a later stage, a hot compress can be applied and herbs used, to promote blood circulation and remove the blood stasis.