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Have you sustained injuries from acupuncture? If so, you might be entitled to compensation through our expert claims solicitors.

If a patient suffers any form of personal injury, they should seek treatment from a qualified doctor or medical practitioner immediately. Yet, when the effects of conventional healthcare do not seem to have any beneficial effects, individuals may become frustrated and turn to complementary or alternative medicine – such as acupuncture.

How is it meant to work?

According to the NHS, acupuncture is a type of Chinese medicine which involves inserting needles into a patient’s body. By placing these points into certain areas, it has been theorised that practitioners are able to affect nerve endings and muscle tissue, altering the body’s perception of pain. As a result, this therapy is used to treat a range of conditions, such as headaches, anxiety, and asthma.

Is it effective?

Despite the supposed benefits, The National Institute of Clinical Excellence states acupuncture is an effective form of treatment for persistent lower back pain only. The NHS adds there is no reliable scientific data which suggests it could benefit many of the ailments which are generally associated with this therapy.

Consequently, the organisation states more research could be necessary in order to better understand how acupuncture works.

Furthermore, although this treatment is recognised by certain bodies, some studies suggest it could carry a variety of health risks.

The dangers of acupuncture

The NHS states there are various risks associated with acupuncture, such as pain, bleeding, or bruising due to the needles, as well as drowsiness or worsening of a person’s symptoms.

In serious cases, a patient can even contract an infection or experience tissue damage. In this situation, an individual may be entitled to receive compensation through a clinical negligence claim.

Research into acupuncture

In 2012, researchers from the National Patient Safety Agency and the Peninsula Medical School published the results of a study in the International Journal of Risk and Safety Medicine. The research looked at 325 acupuncture-related patient safety incidents which took place between 2009 and 2011. The results suggested this treatment could carry a variety of health risks.

For example, 39 incidents resulted in a patient experiencing conditions such as hot flushes, additional pains, or vomiting, 63 described individuals temporarily losing consciousness, with six of these patients suffering a seizure. Two cases ended in a formal diagnosis of pneumothorax (where a puncture leads to a collapsed lung).

As well as these, and other incidents, there were examples of possible medical negligence where individuals returned home only to find needles still embedded in their skin.

Following these findings, the researchers stated that acupuncture appears to be a “low-harm” treatment when carried out by the NHS. However, an individual may experience a greater risk of serious complications if they seek this form of treatment outside of the organisation.

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Acupuncture Claims experiences
  • Jonathan was able to help the husband of a 50 year old woman claim compensation after the hospital failed to diagnose her cancer. Mrs L attended hospital complaining of pain in her abdomen. She was discharged without further tests but unfortunately she died of thyroid cancer a few months later. Jonathan argued that the chance for a liver biopsy was missed during her visit to hospital and although this would not affect the unfortunate outcome, palliative care could have been arranged to ease Mrs L’s suffering. Jonathan was able to secure Mrs L’s husband a five figure sum in compensation.
  • Jonathan has also helped the family of a 71 year old man claim compensation after a complication in his surgery caused his death. Mr R was suffering from chest pains and was admitted to hospital for tests. He was found to have an issue with his heart and doctors attempted to rectify this with a surgical procedure. Unfortunately during this procedure an air pocket had got into one of his blood vessels which caused Mr R’s death. With expert medical evidence Jonathan was able to secure Mr R’s family £75,000 in compensation.
  • Jonathan helped X get further compensation and access to services to aid in his rehabilitation. X was a subject of sexual abuse from his step father between the ages of 5 and 7. Initial application for compensation was made in 1990 and X was awarded £10,000. After several attempts at his own life, X decided to contact Jonathan to seek further compensation. Jonathan was able to secure X £200,000 in compensation and an overall award of £1,200,000 inclusive of state benefits. More importantly Jonathan then arranged the Special Needs Trust to support X’s rehabilitation.
  • Jonathan helped the parents of Baby B claim compensation after a failure in care during labour resulted in Baby B’s death. Initially the Trust denied they were responsible for Baby B’s death but after negotiations the Trust admitted responsibility and Jonathan was able to negotiate an out of court settlement for Baby B’s parents.
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