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Probe after needle left in woman’s back


12 May, 2008  

A Welsh NHS Trust has launched an investigation into how an acupuncture patient managed to return home from treatment with a two-inch needle stuck in her back.

Wendy Dempsey, who suffers from back pain, had her first acupuncture session which was carried out by a physiotherapist at St Woolos Hospital in Newport, South Wales.

The 54-year-old claims she was in no pain as she left the treatment, but became uncomfortable as she began driving the five-mile journey back to her home in Llanmartin.

It took her 15 minutes to move from the car due to the pain, and upon getting home asked her nephew Ieuan Edwards to locate the source of the pain. He started screaming and informed her a needle was embedded in her lower back.

A neighbour drove Mrs Dempset straight to Royal Gwent Hospital, and the needle was removed.

An investigation has now been launched by the local NHS Trust, which has since apologised.

A Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust spokesman said: “Mrs Dempsey has made a complaint which will be fully investigated by the Trust.

“We operate strict protocols for the use of acupuncture and we will contact her as soon as our investigations are complete.”

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust

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“This is what happens when a physiotherapist is allowed to practise acupuncture. They have minimal, simplistic training much like most GPs who study for four days to be ‘qualified’ in acupuncture. Leave it to the professional acupuncturists who study for four years, as in China!” – John Rogers, London, UK

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