Can Acupuncture Go Wrong And Could I Claim Compensation?
By Mark Allen. Last Updated 15th July 2021. Welcome to our acupuncture negligence claims guide discussing any situations of acupuncture gone bad. Within this online guide, we will discuss the prospects of making acupuncture gone wrong negligence compensation claims.
Regardless of whether you are receiving acupuncture as part of your National Health Service (NHS) treatment or paying to have acupuncture done privately, this acupuncture gone wrong claims guide is for you.
Acupuncture gone wrong would be considered as a type of medical negligence, as this guide will explain. If you have ever used the services of a personal injury lawyer to make a personal injury claim, much of the content of this guide might seem somewhat familiar, as the process of making a medical negligence claim is very similar. However, it is not identical, so this guide will still be worth reading.
If you have additional questions this guide doesn’t cover, as every claim has its own unique aspects, please call our team on 0800 652 3087. One of our expert advisors will get you the answers you need and tell you how to help with your acupuncture negligence claims.
Select A Section:
- A Guide To Claims For Acupuncture Gone Wrong
- What Is Acupuncture?
- What Are The Benefits Of Acupuncture Treatment?
- Does Acupuncture Work?
- Regulation Of Acupuncture
- What Are The Negative Side Effects Of Acupuncture?
- Additional Risks Associated With Acupuncture Gone Wrong
- Acupuncture Associated Pneumothorax
- Acupuncture Associated Pneumothorax, Punctured Lung And Other Injuries
- Could Acupuncture Cause Spinal Injuries?
- Acupuncture Associated Nerve Damage
- Time Limits To Claim For Acupuncture Which Has Gone Wrong
- Acupuncture Gone Wrong – Compensation Calculator
- No Win No Fee Claims For Acupuncture Gone Wrong
- Talk To Us About How Your Acupuncture Treatment Went Wrong
- Helpful Links
A Guide To Claims For Acupuncture Gone Wrong
This online guide takes a look at what happens when acupuncture gone wrong causes harm to the patient. We will provide you with all of the information you need to understand why you might make a claim and how to go about it.
We begin this acupuncture gone wrong claims guide by explaining what acupuncture is. And then expand on this by looking at its benefits and whether acupuncture is actually effective or not. We touch on how practitioners of acupuncture are regulated in the UK as well. We explain the negative side effects of acupuncture and some of the key risks of having this treatment done.
The next part of this acupuncture gone bad guide looks at some specific medical conditions and illnesses that have been proven to be caused by acupuncture in some cases. This includes physical injuries such as a punctured lung, damage to the spinal cord or nerves, as well as medical conditions such as pneumothorax.
The last part of this acupuncture negligence claims guide goes over some legal and financial considerations when making a compensation claim. We will explain the time limits that are in place to begin your claim within. And you will find an example table showing the level of compensation that different severities of illnesses caused by acupuncture might receive. This is followed up by a list of some of the more commonly seen types of damages a claimant might receive if their claim is successful. Lastly, we’ll explain what a No Win No Fee claim is, how one works, and the major benefits that a solicitor working under such a fee agreement can provide.
You might have questions about the content you read in this acupuncture gone wrong guide or the claims process about your own circumstances. If so, don’t worry, we can help you. One of our expert advisors can assist you further if you give us a call on the telephone number down near the end of this guide. In much the way we can arrange for a personal injury solicitor to assist with an accident and injury claim, we can also help you by putting you in touch with an experienced medical negligence solicitor.
What Is Acupuncture?
Before we start tackling questions such as, “can acupuncture go wrong?” “Does acupuncture hurt?” “And how does acupuncture work?” We need first to explain what acupuncture is. This is a treatment that has been adapted from ancient Chinese medical practices for modern use. Thin needles are pushed into the body in certain places, producing a therapeutic effect.
The National Health Service (NHS) uses acupuncture as a technique for managing pain. It is also frequently used in private pain clinics. In modern medicine, acupuncture is administered once the medical diagnosis of a specific medical condition has been made and not as general therapy.
The process of acupuncture stimulates nerves within the body and can also trigger muscle responses. Because of the length of the needles used, it is possible to reach nerve clusters some distance into the body from the skin. When acupuncture is successful, it causes the body to begin manufacturing-specific substances, such as endorphins, which give pain relief.
For the best effect, a course of regular acupuncture is needed, rather than a single session. The premise behind acupuncture is that the practitioner is channelling the life force or Qi of the patient in beneficial ways. This, of course, has never been proven to be the way that acupuncture works, hence why this could lead to acupuncture negligence claims.
Acupuncture that has been performed improperly because of its invasive nature could, in some cases, harm the patient. This would be construed as medical negligence. It could be possible to claim for any harm suffered. If you think you have valid acupuncture gone wrong claims, call our claims team today for help and advice.
What Are The Benefits Of Acupuncture Treatment?
Acupuncturists believe that acupuncture benefits are wide-ranging and plentiful. Indeed, in times past, acupuncture was performed as a therapy intended to prevent infection and strengthen the body’s life force, improving its flow.
In modern times, acupuncture is only recommended for a fairly narrow range of uses. These uses are outlined by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). In general, the NHS will only recommend acupuncture for the treatment of:
- Tension headaches.
- Migraine headaches.
However, there are uses for acupuncture beyond these two applications. In some cases, the NHS will try acupuncture to treat pain and musculoskeletal conditions such as:
- Chronic, targetable pain, such as back or neck pain.
- Pain in the joints.
- Toothache and other forms of dental pain.
- Pain control after an operation.
However, in most cases, there are alternative treatments with proven results that can be used instead. Therefore, it is only in special circumstances that acupuncture is administered in such situations.
If you were to be injured by a negligent act performed by an acupuncturist, then if you can prove that a mistake was made, you could have the basis of a clinical negligence claim. For additional help and advice about acupuncture negligence claims, please speak to a member of our claims team.
Does Acupuncture Work?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has published the results of tests and trials related to acupuncture to try and judge its effectiveness. The basics of the findings show that acupuncture is in some way beneficial for:
- Inducing an analgesic effect.
- Improving the body’s protection against infection.
- Controlling and regulating certain functions of the body.
The important takeaway from this information is that acupuncture is used to control the pain of a specific illness or medical condition. Still, in some cases, it can be used to treat the condition. Two benefits in one.
Acupuncture can also be used to treat two similar but opposing medical conditions with the same result. For example, in a patient with hypertension, acupuncture would lower blood pressure. In juxtaposition, patients suffering from low blood pressure due to hypotension will see their blood pressure raised.
This exposes the single most worrying danger of applying acupuncture and how you could end up with an acupuncture gone bad situation. If used inappropriately, it could trigger unwanted responses in the body of the patient. If you were to be harmed in such a case, you might be able to make a medical negligence claim for the harm you have suffered. One of our advisors can tell you more about acupuncture gone wrong claims if you give them a call.
Regulation Of Acupuncture
In England, there is no regulation of acupuncture and its practitioners. Therefore, if you are thinking of undergoing acupuncture outside of the NHS, you should check that the acupuncturist is a trained professional, such as a doctor or nurse, that will have to treat you under their duty of care.
This duty of care is to never do unnecessary harm to a patient through an action that could have been avoided. Such cases could leave the victim with a valid basis to make a clinical negligence claim. This is something we can help you with. Please call our team to proceed with any acupuncture negligence claims.
What Are The Negative Side Effects Of Acupuncture?
What are the negative side effects of acupuncture? If acupuncture is done wrong, and even if it is done right sometimes, there can be acupuncture side effects. This is generally a very safe form of therapy, but it can result in side effects such as:
- Pain caused by the needles being pushed through the skin.
- Bleeding results in bruising where the needles went through the skin.
- Tiredness, sleepiness or drowsiness.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Dizziness or fainting.
- Pre-existing symptoms being exacerbated.
Furthermore, people taking anticoagulants should speak to their doctor before undergoing acupuncture.
If you have a bleeding disorder, such as haemophilia, or are taking anticoagulants, talk to your GP before you have acupuncture, as some people are allergic to certain metals.
If you do suffer side effects serious enough to affect your health, then you might be able to claim compensation if you prove that negligence was the cause. We can help with this. Learn how to make acupuncture gone wrong claims by calling our team today.
Additional Risks Associated With Acupuncture Gone Wrong
In the previous section of this acupuncture gone bad guide, we looked at some of the less serious adverse effects and side effects of acupuncture. However, if acupuncture goes wrong, the patient can face some very dangerous risks due to the intrusive nature of this therapy.
Consider for a moment that an acupuncturist is inserting sharp, thin needles into the patient’s body. Some of the needles can be pushed in as much as an inch below the skin. If this is done inaccurately, it can cause unintended harm. If clinical negligence is the cause of such harm, we could help the victim make a claim.
Acupuncture Associated Pneumothorax, Punctured Lung And Other Injuries
Some very serious medical conditions could be caused due to medical negligence on the part of an acupuncturist. And any could result in the victim filing acupuncture negligence claims. For example:
- Pneumothorax (a collapsed lung) or a punctured lung.
- Spinal injuries.
- Nerve damage.
In the following sections, we will look at each of these, all of which could be the basis of a medical negligence claim that a medical negligence lawyer can help with.
Acupuncture Associated Pneumothorax
Possibly one of the most serious injuries caused by acupuncture that a medical negligence solicitor will deal with as part of a claim is pneumothorax. This is a medical condition that occurs when the space between the lung and the chest wall is punctured and air leaks in. This additional pressure caused by the air can result in a lung collapsing.
Treatment for pneumothorax can be traumatic, and if negligence can be proven as the cause, valid acupuncture gone wrong claims may exist.
Could Acupuncture Cause Spinal Injuries?
As we have already noted, the needles used in acupuncture can enter the body up to a depth of an inch. However, consider that the spinal cord runs less than an inch from the surface in several places along the back, generally protected by the spinal vertebrae.
If an acupuncturist slips, a needle could slip between the vertebrae of the spin and damage the spinal cord. Results could range from trivial to some form of paralysis. And an acupuncture gone bad claim could be possible if negligence can be proven.
Acupuncture Associated Nerve Damage
Many nerve clusters sit less than an inch from the skin. An acupuncture needle that is put in the wrong place could damage such nerve clusters. This would be an agonising injury, as nerve clusters are the most pain-sensitive part of the body.
In such cases, a valid medical negligence claim may exist if the victim can prove that clinical negligence took place somehow.
Time Limits To Claim For Acupuncture Which Has Gone Wrong
In general, the personal injury claims time limit for making a medical negligence claim is three years from the date of the incident or three years from the date of knowledge, which is the date the medical condition caused by negligence was first diagnosed or discovered.
To check that this time limit will apply to your acupuncture gone wrong claims, please contact our expert advisors.
Acupuncture Gone Wrong – Compensation Calculator
The table below uses the Judicial College guidelines to value compensation for acupuncture negligence claims. You can look up the severity of your illness and find the acupuncture gone bad compensation range that it might receive.
Health Issue How Bad? Compensation Notes
Illness Minor £860 to £3,710 An illness or medical condition with minor symptoms, that would cause some level of distress, pain and discomfort. The illness would subside with a handful of weeks at most.
Illness Moderate £3,710 to £8,950 An illness or medical condition with moderate symptoms, that would result in a significant level of pain and discomfort, as well as additional symptoms that might include nausea, bowel problems, etc. Hospital treatment may be required for the initial stage of the illness, and the illness would last a few weeks, with lingering symptoms up to 2 years.
Illness Serious £8,950 to £18,020 An illness or medical condition with symptoms that are short-lived in nature, but causing a high level of pain and discomfort. Hospitalisation would be required while the illness is treated. The illness would clear up within 4 weeks, but could leave the victim with permanent symptoms that could have a negative effect on their life quality.
Illness Severe £36,060 to £49,270 An illness or medical condition with severe symptoms that could in the worst case, cause death. Hospitalisation and the application of extreme treatment would cause the victim acute pain and suffering. It is likely that once recovery has been made, the victim’s overall health will have been negatively impacted, with a significant loss of life quality being the result.
You may have come across a personal injury claims calculator before trying and getting a general idea of the level of compensation you might receive if you make a compensation claim. If you want to get a more accurate estimate, then a lawyer will need to value your claim for you. If you wish to arrange this for you, give our claims team a call to get it underway.
Every compensation settlement, either offered out of court or awarded in court, will be made up of several different kinds of damages. The types of damages received depend on the circumstances of the claim. General damages are paid to the claimant to compensate for physical harm and suffering. The level of compensation is driven by considerations such as how much pain the claimant went through, whether they will suffer any ongoing symptoms or impairment and the kind of treatment they were administered. General damages could include:
- Mental trauma caused by becoming and being ill.
- Pain and suffering caused by the general symptoms of the illness.
- Undergoing intrusive or painful treatment or therapy.
- Psychological injuries such as depression or anxiety.
- Long-term or permanent symptoms will lower the victim’s life quality.
Special damages are paid to the claimant to compensate them for financial and other kinds of losses. If a claimant wishes to include monetary losses already incurred, they will need to provide documented proof of how the money was spent. Special damages might include:
- Out of pocket expenses (such as travel tickets).
- The cost of hire care at home.
- Private healthcare fees.
- Loss of past income, either partially or in full, due to taking time off work.
- Loss of future income due to having a reduced capacity for work caused by the long-term implications of an illness.
These are some common types of damages within acupuncture gone wrong claims, but others are less common. If you would like to know what kinds of damages you might be able to state for your acupuncture gone bad claim, please speak to one of our claim advisors today based on your own unique circumstances.
No Win No Fee Claims For Acupuncture Gone Wrong
Using the services of an accident and injury lawyer working under a No Win No Fee deal offers two main advantages. Firstly, you have taken steps to mitigate some of the financial losses of making a compensation claim. Secondly, you have gained access to the legal expertise you need without having to pay any upfront or ongoing solicitor fees.
Also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), under a No Win No Fee deal, you don’t pay a fee for the solicitor to start working on your claim, and you don’t pay your solicitor any fees during the time they are processing it for you. If the claim fails, you still don’t need to pay your lawyer any fees.
If the claim results in a settlement, your solicitor will ask you to pay a small success fee, a legally capped percentage of the compensation awarded. The solicitor can collect this directly from any compensation payment they have received for you. If you want some more information about how this kind of fee structure works, please call our claims team.
Talk To Us About How Your Acupuncture Treatment Went Wrong
Do you need to make a claim for NHS negligence or against a private clinic for acupuncture gone wrong? No matter the circumstances leading to the acupuncture gone bad claims, we can help you. Contact our team on 0800 652 3087 and explain your situation. An expert advisor will tell you how best to proceed with your acupuncture negligence claims.
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Acupuncture Negligence Claims FAQs
What happens if you do acupuncture wrong?
This could cause a vasovagal reaction, bringing about dizziness or nausea.
Can acupuncture cause damage?
It is possible that acupuncture could instigate serious infections and damage to nerves and blood vessels.
What is the average payout for medical negligence?
Statistics suggest that the overall average payout for NHS negligence is approximately £50,000.
What are the disadvantages of acupuncture?
It could bring about bruising, bleeding, or soreness and potentially causing infections and, albeit rarely, even damaging organs.
What should you not do after acupuncture?
Recipients of acupuncture should avoid heavy exercise, caffeine, junk food, ice, alcohol and staring at screens.
What happens if an acupuncture needle hits a nerve?
This could cause significant pain, though often it’s only for a very short period of time.
How long do the effects of acupuncture last?
This could range from 30 to 60 minutes.
Should you drink water after acupuncture?
The recommendation is to drink more water after receiving acupuncture.
Guide by Mac
Edited by Richie
Thank you for reading our acupuncture gone wrong claims guide. We hope you now have a greater understanding about filing acupuncture negligence claims. But please get in touch if you have any questions about making an acupuncture gone bad claim.