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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  • Recent Comments

    Risk of cardiac tamponade with acupuncture

    Cardiac tamponade (aka pericardial tamponade) is an emergency condition in which fluid accumulates in the pericardium (the sac in which the heart is enclosed).

    Prof. Ernst and colleague reviewed the evidence.

    First, the details.

    • All reported cases of cardiac tamponade after acupuncture were reviewed.

    And, the results.

    • 26 cases of cardiac tamponade were reported.
    • In 14 patients, the complications were fatal.
    • In most instances, there was little doubt about causality.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Cardiac tamponade is a serious, often fatal complication after acupuncture. As it is theoretically avoidable, acupuncturists should be trained to minimize the risk.”

    Patients, don’t get up after acupuncture until you confirm that all the needles are removed. Acupuncturists are unlikely to penetrate deep enough to puncture the heart. However, the pressure from putting on a shirt or jacket after the session might.

    6/8/11 19:24 JR

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