Guidelines on Basic Training and Safety in Acupuncture
(1999; 35 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsSection I: Basic training in acupuncture
Close this folderSection II: Safety in acupuncture
Open this folder and view contents1. Prevention of infection
Open this folder and view contents2. Contraindications
Close this folder3. Accidents and untoward reactions
View the document3.1 Needle quality
View the document3.2 Position of patient
View the document3.3 Fainting
View the document3.4 Convulsions
View the document3.5 Pain
View the document3.6 Stuck needle
View the document3.7 Broken needle
View the document3.8 Local infection
View the document3.9 Burning during moxibustion
View the document4. Electrical stimulation and laser therapy
Open this folder and view contents5. Injury to important organs
View the document6. Patient records
Open this folder and view contentsAppendix
View the documentAnnex I: List of participants

3.7 Broken needle

Breaks may arise from poor quality manufacture, erosion between the shaft and the handle, strong muscle spasm or sudden movement of the patient, incorrect withdrawal of a stuck or bent needle, or prolonged use of galvanic current.

If, during insertion, a needle becomes bent, it should be withdrawn and replaced by another. Too much force should not be used when manipulating needles, particularly during lifting and thrusting. The junction between the handle and the shaft is the part that is apt to break. Therefore, in inserting the needle, one-quarter to one-third of the shaft should always be kept above the skin.

If a needle breaks, the patient should be told to keep calm and not to move, so as to prevent the broken part of the needle from going deeper into the tissues. If a part of the broken needle is still above the skin, remove it with forceps. If it is at the same level as the skin, press around the site gently until the broken end is exposed, and then remove it with forceps. If it is completely under the skin, ask the patient to resume his/her previous position and the end of the needle shaft will often be exposed. If this is unsuccessful, surgical intervention will be needed.

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