Acupuncturist to apologise for forgotten needle

  • 25/04/2017

An acupuncturist has been told she should apologise to a patient after leaving a needle in his abdomen without telling him.

Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Meenal Duggal has also recommended that the unnamed acupuncturist get further education and training on informed consent.

The patient, then 59, went to a clinic in August 2015 to get acupuncture and massage treatment for an injured shoulder.

In the second session, the acupuncturist inserted needles into the shoulder and also one into the abdomen.

At the end of the session, she removed the needles from the shoulder, but left the one in the abdomen secured with surgical tape.

The intention was to prolong the effects of the treatment and the needle would be removed a day or two later.

The acupuncturist admitted she failed to discuss this with the patient, saying she had been distracted by a high number of phone calls.

The man discovered the needle the following morning and removed it.

Ms Duggal found that the acupuncturist had failed to provide the man with information that could reasonably be expected in the circumstances.

Without that information, the man couldn't make an informed choice and provide informed consent.