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J Korean Med Sci. 2018 May 9;33(24):e164. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2018.33.e164. eCollection 2018 Jun 11.

Infectious Adverse Events Following Acupuncture: Clinical Progress and Microbiological Etiology.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
2
Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

Background:

We investigated the clinical progress and bacteriological characteristics of infectious adverse events (AEs) following acupuncture and compared patient characteristics between serious and non-serious outcome groups.

Methods:

A retrospective observational study was conducted in 1,174 patients with infectious complications associated with acupuncture at the emergency department (ED) in a tertiary hospital in Korea between 2010 and 2014. Serious outcome was defined as development of septic shock, admission to intensive care unit (ICU) or attaining permanent morbidity.

Results:

Forty-eight patients had certain causality and cellulitis, necrotizing fasciitis and osteomyelitis were common in order. Among them, 9 patients (18.8%) were categorized into serious outcome group, and they showed devastating outcomes such as septic shock (n = 2), ICU admission (n = 4), and permanent sequelae (n = 5). The serious group had delayed admission to the ED after acupuncture (30.0 [4.0-55.0] vs. 3.0 [1.0-10.0] days, P = 0.023). Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus was the most frequently identified microorganism. The patients in the serious group required longer treatment duration (139.0 [49.0-183.5] vs. 14.0 [7.0-34.0] days, P < 0.001) as well as more operation with local (44.4% vs. 10.3%, P = 0.031) or general anaesthesia (33.3% vs. 2.6%, P = 0.017).

Conclusion:

The infectious AEs after acupuncture may cause serious outcomes. Patients and primary physicians should be aware of the risk of infectious complications and make efforts to prevent them.

KEYWORDS:

Acupuncture; Complications; Infection

PMID:
29892207
PMCID:
PMC5990445
DOI:
10.3346/jkms.2018.33.e164
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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