The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Safety of acupuncture in children

    Researchers at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, reviewed the adverse events associated with needle acupuncture in children.

    First, the details.

    • 37 reports were included.

    And, the results.

    • 279 adverse events were identified.
      • 25 were serious.
        • 12 cases of thumb deformity
        • 5 infections
        • 1 case each of cardiac rupture, pneumothorax, nerve impairment, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intestinal obstruction, hemoptysis, reversible coma, and overnight hospitalization
      • 1 was moderate (infection).
      • 253 were mild.
        • Pain
        • Bruising
        • Bleeding
        • Worsening of symptoms
    • The incidence of mild adverse event was 12%.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Of the adverse events associated with pediatric needle acupuncture, a majority of them were mild in severity. Many of the serious adverse events might have been caused by substandard practice.”

    Furthermore, the “results support those from adult studies, which have found that acupuncture is safe when performed by appropriately trained practitioners.”

    That’s probably true of all healthcare professionals.

    11/22/11 19:01 JR

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