Iatrogenic pneumothorax due to acupuncture needle

Created Oct 2013
Reviewed Dec 2019

Query

Patient presented to the Respiratory service with ‘iatrogenic pneumothorax due to acupuncture needle’.  Patient had acupuncture for tennis elbow the day before.  Should the external cause code be W27 Contact with non-powered hand tool (due to needle) or Y60.8 Unintentional cut, puncture, perforation or haemorrhage during other surgical and medical care (medical misadventure)?

Y60.8 is suggested because of the wide acceptance of acupuncture as a legitimate therapy.  For example, ACC now funds this treatment in certain circumstances.

Response

Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  It is used worldwide as an alternative medical therapy.  In New Zealand to be a qualified ACC treatment provider an acupuncturist has to pass a serial assessment or completed years of training to register with an ACC approved organisation for example, New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists (NZRA) or New Zealand Acupuncture Standards Authority (NZASA) Inc.

Therefore, as acupuncture is an approved alternative medical therapy in New Zealand, ‘iatrogenic pneumothorax due to acupuncture needle’ should have the external cause code Y60.8 Unintentional cut, puncture, perforation or haemorrhage during other surgical and medical care assigned with free text to further specify circumstances.

 

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