Harm Index 08/09/2016

Harm Index 08/09/2016

I do not know why I have not thought of this before.

Shruggies look at pseudo-medicine and say, with a gallic shrug, what's the harm? Pseudo-medicine may be worthless, but at least it causes no harm.

Complications do occur, but are few and far apart and get lost. It would nice to keep a running summary.

Medicine is about risk vrs benefit and if an intervention has zero benefit, it should have zero risk.

So the harm that has occurred from pseudo-medicine in the first half of 2016, from Pubmed and Google.


BMJ Case Rep. 2016 Jul 13;2016. pii: bcr2016216405. doi: 10.1136/bcr–2016–216405.Necrotising fasciitis after acupuncture treatment in an immunocompetent patient.. "this is the first immunocompetent patient with necrotising fasciitis and toxic shock, caused by acupuncture."

Acupunct Med. 2016 Apr;34(2):149–51. doi: 10.1136/acupmed–2015–212110rep. Atlanto-axial infection after acupuncture. "A 67-year-old man presented with neck cellulitis following acupuncture for cervical spondylosis. Blood cultures were positive for methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus Increased neck pain and bacteraemia prompted MRI, which showed atlanto-axial septic arthritis without signs of infection of the tissues between the superficial cellulitic area and the atlanto-axial joint…"

J Surg Case Rep. 2016 Mar 13;2016(3). pii: rjw035. doi: 10.1093/jscr/rjw035. Lumbar spine osteomyelitis and epidural abscess formation secondary to acupuncture.

Complement Ther Med. 2016 Feb;24:108–10. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2015.12.002. Epub 2015 Dec 18.

Cervical spinal epidural abscess following acupuncture and wet-cupping therapy: A case report. "Acupuncture and wet-cupping therapy should be taken into consideration as a cause of spinal epidural abscesses in patients who present with neck pain and fever. Furthermore, acupuncture and wet-cupping practitioners should pay attention to hygienic measures".

Not a surprise given the low level of use proper infection control.

Eur Heart J. 2016 May 1;37(17):1383. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehv171. Epub 2015 May 20. Cardiac perforation as a rare complication of acupuncture..

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016 Mar 25;16:107. doi: 10.1186/s12906–016–1091–3. Immune thrombocytopenia after bee venom therapy: a case report.

Death by Acupuncturist "A 17-year-old diabetic boy from Tiruppur died after he stopped taking insulin injections on the advice of his acupuncturist."


Interv Neuroradiol. 2016 Aug 1. pii: 1591019916659264. Extracranial vertebral artery rupture likely secondary to "cupping therapy" superimposed on spontaneous dissection. "We report an extremely rare case of spontaneous extracranial VA dissection presenting with posterior neck hematoma aggravated after cupping therapy, a treatment in traditional Oriental medicine."

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2016 Jun;63(6):1120–2. doi: 10.1002/pbc.25921. Epub 2016 Feb 4. Spinal Epidural Hematoma Following Cupping Glass Treatment in an Infant With Hemophilia A.

J Patient Saf. 2015 Mar 16. Cupping (Hijama) Treatment: Benign or Sinister?

I guess cupping can increase blood flow. Only to the wrong place.

Popular treatment known as 'cupping therapy' leaves man with seven holes in his back

Traditional Chinese Pseudo-Medicine

College graduate dies of liver failure after 'overdose on traditional Chinese medicine' in a bid to treat his hair loss for job search.

Killer Knotweed Exposes Hidden Dangers of TCM


Neurosurgery. 2016 Aug;63 Suppl 1:205. doi: 10.1227/01.neu.0000489844.01828.31. 355 Endovascular Management of Cervical Carotid and Vertebral Artery Dissection: Indications, Techniques, and Outcomes From a 20-Year Experience. " Six (9.0%) patients of spontaneous etiology also reported recent chiropractic manipulation. "

Qatar Med J. 2016 Jan 14;2015(2):16. doi: 10.5339/qmj.2015.16. eCollection 2015. Cortex-sparing infarction in triple cervical artery dissection following chiropractic neck manipulation.. "A 55-year-old man presented with acute-onset neck pain with associated sudden onset right-sided hemiparesis and dysphasia after chiropractic manipulation for chronic neck pain."

Did chiropractic manipulation of her neck cause Katie May's stroke?

Chiropractic First: Indonesian authorities close down chiropractic chain after patient's death


BMJ Case Rep. 2016 Jun 30;2016. pii: bcr2016215041. doi: 10.1136/bcr–2016–215041.

Case of acute lead toxicity associated with Ayurvedic supplements.

Food Chem Toxicol. 2016 Jul 8. pii: S0278–6915(16)30221–6. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2016.07.001. Liver toxicity related to herbs and dietary supplements: Online table of case reports. Part 3 of 6.. "The top three herbs with the most number of reported publications (but not cases studies) in descending order, were germander, black cohosh, kava extract, and green tea extract."

Curr Drug Saf. 2016;11(2):184–8. A Case of Hepatotoxicity Induced by Adulterated "Tiger King", a Chinese Herbal Medicine Containing Sildenafil.. " This case emphasizes the importance of raising public awareness on the potential dangers of "Tiger king" in particular, and other counterfeit medications or herbal supplements of unknown origin."

'Close to death' Matthew Whitby wanted to get fit. It almost cost him his life. "Doctors said the most likely culprits were a protein powder containing green tea extract linked to liver failure in certain people and possibly a diet supplement containing garcinia cambogia.

I didn't think something you could buy online or just over the counter did the damage that it did to me. With his liver failing fast, the Geraldton man's only choice was to accept a liver transplant"

WA man Matthew Whitby nearly died after taking two popular dietary supplements


Mother of two died in a birthing pool after her midwife would only offer a homeopathic 'rescue remedy' as she 'bled out' while begging for an ambulance

Grieving father sues homeopath 'who said his son's cancer could be cured with vitamins'


Naturopath charged after 'bringing baby to brink of death' with raw food diet

Naturopathic doctor in Alberta meningitis death trial to be investigated


Woman claims she 'cured' skin cancer by BURNING a huge hole in her chest using a controversial 'black salve' natural ointment. Ick.

Woman Left With Huge Hole In Her Nose After Using Herbal Treatment To Cure Skin Cancer. Double ick.

Points of Interest 08/12/2016
Points of Interest 08/09/2016

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