26 March 2010
Experts are calling for stricter infection control regulation and accreditation requirements to reduce the growing number of infections being transmitted by acupuncture.
Writing in the BMJ (online first), Professor Patrick Woo from the University of Hong Kong said proper control guidelines were necessary to tackle the number of infections being reported, which were likely to be ‘just the tip of the iceberg’.
While most patients recovered from infections, up to 10 per cent reported pyogenic (pus-producing) bacterial infections, ending up with serious problems including joint destruction, multi-organ failure, flesh-eating disease and paralysis, he said.
Contaminated cotton wool swabs, towels and hot pack covers had also resulted in the christening of a new clinical syndrome, acupuncture mycobacteriosis, which led to large abscesses and ulcers, Professor Woo said.
Last Reviewed: 26 March 2010