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January 2023

Clinical study of syncope during acupuncture treatment

Author(s): Hwang, S., Lee, H., Yang, H., Chung, C.

Journal/Book: Acupuncture and Electro-Therapeutics Research. 1990; 15(2): 107-119.

Abstract: From August 1988 to April 1989, we observed 52 patients who developed so-called 'needle fainting' (or what the Chinese call 'Yun-Cheng' phenomenon) 55 times among a total sample of 28,285 procedures of acupuncture therapy at the Center for Traditional Medicine of Veterans General Hospital in Taipei. Of these syncopal patients, 35 were male and 17 were female. Their mean age was 45 years (with a range of 11 to 72 years). All patients were in an upright position when needle fainting occurred. Their usual manifestations were pallor, cold sweating, nausea, and bradycardia. They all recovered soon after lying down; no one developed a complete loss of consciousness. No mortality was noted. When comparing the patients who experienced syncope during their first visit to our Clinic (Group I, n = 27) with the patients who experienced syncope in a follow-up treatment (Group II, n = 25; 3 patients had 2 episodes in sequential treatments), we found a significantly higher incidence of needle fainting (p less than 0.0001) in Group I patients (27 out of 2,855 or 0.94%) than in Group II patients (28 out of 25,430 or 0.11%). The mean age of Group I patients (39 +/- 15.4 years) was significantly less than that of Group II patients (51.6 +/- 18.0 years) (p less than 0.001). The coexistence of other medical problems was significantly higher in Group II patients (72%) than in Group I patients (18.5%) (p less than 0.0001).

Keyword(s): Adolescence

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