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Bilateral pneumothoraces following acupuncture
  1. Palmi Oskarsson1,
  2. Craig Andrew Walker1,2,
  3. Simon Leigh-Smith1,3
  1. 1Emergency Department, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Intensive Care Unit, St John's Hospital, Livingston, UK
  3. 3Defence Medical Services, The Royal Navy, Portsmouth, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Palmi Oskarsson, Feitikallinn{at}gmail.com

Summary

A 50-year-old woman was brought to the emergency department with shortness of breath and chest tightness following acupuncture to her upper back for a chronically painful left shoulder. She had symptoms of respiratory distress and chest X-ray revealed bilateral pneumothoraces. Symptoms resolved after insertion of bilateral Seldinger chest drains. She was admitted to the Cardiothoracic Surgery ward, chest drains were removed on the second and third days and the patient was discharged from hospital after 3 days. Clinicians and acupuncturists should be aware of this adverse event following acupuncture.

  • emergency medicine
  • cardiothoracic surgery

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Footnotes

  • Contributors All the authors equally contributed to the acquisition of data and drafting of the case report and made substantial contribution to the conception, design and critical revision for intellectually important content. All authors gave their approval of the final version to be published and acknowledge to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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