Acupuncture injury compensation claims

Updated: October 8, 2018

Introduction

Each year, around 2.3 million acupuncture treatments are carried out in the UK. Most of them are completed without incident. However, research suggests that up to 10% of patients will suffer an acupuncture-related adverse event, with injuries ranging from severe bruising to permanent tissue damage.

One of the major problems is that acupuncture is a self-regulating industry.

No training or qualifications are necessary for those offering acupuncture services and it is possible that some practitioners are not competent to carry out treatment.

Anyone who suffers an illness or injury after receiving substandard acupuncture treatment may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.

Acupuncturist
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Do I have an acupuncture injury claim?

If you have suffered an acupuncture injury in the last three years and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.

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What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a therapy derived from Chinese medicine. During treatment, fine needles are inserted at certain sites in a patient's body to stimulate nerve endings and encourage the release of pain-relieving endorphins.

While often seen as a form of alternative medicine, acupuncture is widely prescribed by the NHS as a treatment for chronic pain of the lower back. Thousands of private patients also turn to acupuncture each year to address ailments including headaches, toothache, allergic reactions, depression and infertility.

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Side effects of acupuncture

When carried out by a skilled practitioner, acupuncture is usually very safe. Adverse side effects tend to be mild and short-lived. These include pain and bruising at the puncture site, drowsiness and feeling sick, dizzy or faint immediately after treatment.

However, serious adverse events can also occur, including:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Abnormal bruising and bleeding
  • Abscesses
  • Blood-borne infections
  • Nerve damage
  • Collapsed lungs caused by needles penetrating the patient's chest.

Serious complications from acupuncture are rare. They usually occur as the result of negligent treatment, carried out by an acupuncture practitioner who has not been properly trained or who does not ensure the proper cleanliness of premises, instruments and equipment.

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Regulation of the acupuncture industry

There is no statutory regulation of non-medical acupuncture in the UK. In theory, anyone can offer acupuncture treatment regardless of their level of training or expertise.

However, most practitioners are required to register with their local authority and submit to regular hygiene inspections in order to reduce the risk of infection. There are also a number of acupuncture organisations in the UK which require their members to work according to certain codes of practice. These include The British Medical Acupuncture Society, the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists, and the British Acupuncture Council.

Practitioners are also required to comply with various health and safety legislation regarding needle sterilisation, hand washing and the safe disposal of clinical waste to avoid needlestick injuries.

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Making an acupuncture injury claim

A reasonable level of competence is expected from all those offering acupuncture treatments, regardless of whether they are medically qualified. Practitioners are expected to conduct a thorough medical examination to determine suitability for treatment, warn the patient of the risks involved with the procedure and maintain high standards of hygiene at all times.

Where a practitioner fails to meet these standards and causes harm to a patient, it will often be possible for the patient to claim compensation.

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Guaranteed No Win No Fee acupuncture injury compensation claim - No Catch

A no win no fee arrangement ( called a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) is put in place between the claimant and lawyer.

The no win no fee agreement is essentially the terms under which the solicitor is instructed by their client.

It lays out what the lawyer will do as well as how they is remunerated if your legal case is won.

If you choose a Quittance Personal Injury solicitor for your acupuncture injury compensation claim there are absolutely no additional costs , no up-front fees and the complete peace of mind that you will not be out of pocket.

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How much compensation can I claim for an acupuncture injury?

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

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Meet the QLS team

Quittance's nationwide network of solicitors help injured people with all types of clinical negligence claims and have a wealth of experience in fast track, complex and serious injury claims. Our lawyers are selected on the basis of their professionalism and their track record in winning claims.

Meet the team - click here.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Carol Cook Clinical Negligence Panel Solicitor
Lee Raynor Clinical Negligence Panel Solicitor
Jonathan Speight, Senior litigator

About the author

Jonathan has over 30 years' experience in the personal injury sector and has been awarded the rank of Senior Litigator by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

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