24 Apr 2017

Acupuncturist leaves needle in man's belly

5:26 pm on 24 April 2017

An acupuncturist who left a needle in a man's belly without telling him has been told off and asked to apologise.

Acupuncturist, acupuncture

Photo: 123RF

The Health and Disability Commissioner's office said the then 59-year-old man attended a Chinese medicine clinic in August 2015 for treatment of a shoulder injury.

During his second visit, the practitioner decided to leave a needle in the man's belly for two or three days to prolong the effects of the treatment.

However, the commission found the acupuncturist got distracted and she forgot to tell the man about the remaining needle.

The man noticed the needle was still there the next morning.

"[Following the treatment] I dressed and went home without noticing [the needle] until the next morning when I was preparing to go to work.

"I believe the springy nature of the needle forced it to lay flat against the stomach by my clothing and blankets. Therefore, due to sheer good luck the needle didn't penetrate any further or cause any pain.

"When I removed my clothes the needle was stocking straight out as if it had just been inserted."

The acupuncturist is undergoing further education and training.