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Latest update on DH investigation into suspected cases of Cushing's syndrome with history of receiving acupuncture from Chinese medicine practitioner

     The Department of Health (DH) today (August 29) provided the latest update on its investigation into the suspected cases of Cushing's syndrome and other adverse effects affecting patients who have a history of receiving acupuncture or other treatment provided by registered Chinese medicine practitioner (CMP) Ma Siu-wing.

     A DH spokesman said that the DH has identified four more cases, either through the hotline 2125 1133 for related public enquiries or from the patients' attending doctor. It took the total number of suspected cases related to this CMP to ten so far.

     The latest four cases include three females and one male aged between 39 and 53 years. All had a past history of receiving acupuncture treatment from the CMP concerned for the management of skin conditions such as eczema before the onset of Cushingoid features. They were subsequently diagnosed as having iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome by their doctor. Investigation revealed that there was no apparent source of high dose exogenous steroid received by them during the course of acupuncture treatment by the CMP. Among them, a 48 year-old woman was one of the three cases reported so far that had received injections on a number of occasions (apart from acupuncture) from the CMP.

     The patients and their attending doctors have been contacted by the DH for their detailed medical histories, drug histories and relevant laboratory results for further investigation. Meanwhile, these four cases will be referred to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong for consideration in taking necessary disciplinary action.

     The spokesman appealed to patrons of CMP Ma Siu-wing who are uncertain about their suspected adverse events or who are feeling unwell to contact the DH via the hotline 2125 1133, or to consult healthcare professionals for advice as an alternative.

     "Up to 4.30 pm today, our hotline 2125 1133 has received 101 enquiries from members of the public since it was set up on the evening of August 23. Sixty-seven callers claimed that they had received acupuncture treatment from the CMP concerned," the spokesman said.

     "The DH will follow up the cases with individual callers and continue to monitor the development closely," he added.

Ends/Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:32


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