An acupuncturist in New Zealand has accidentally pierced a young woman’s lungs, after inserting needles in her shoulder region too deeply.
The 33-year-old patient was seeking treatment for an arm and wrist injury, which was causing pain on top of her shoulders and a shortness of breath. To treat her, the acupuncturist decided to place two needles in a nearby acupressure point, known as Jian Jing or Gallbladder 21 (GB21).
As the needles were going in, the young woman expressed pain, and later, she told the Health and Disability Commissioner that the insertions felt “extremely deep”. Both needles were left in for half an hour, before they were then rotated and removed.
It was at this point that the patient felt a sudden onset of pain in her right chest and a shortness of breath. She told her acupuncturist she felt “stuffy” and she was having a strange and painful ‘air’ sensation around both her lungs.