It has been a familiar treatment modality for thousands of years in Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. To ensure cupping is performed in a safe and responsible manner, registrants are reminded to review the following four topics in the Safety Program Handbook.
Cupping Sterilization and Disinfection – pages 24 and 68
Fire Emergency Plan for Fire Cupping Therapy – page 47
Documenting Informed Consent to treatment – page 58
Possible Side Effects and Adverse Reactions – page 76
A few other important points:
Burns may result from placing the flame too close to the lip of the fire cup so that the edge becomes very hot, or from dropping the burning material into the fire cup, and then placing the cup on the skin with the hot material inside the cup.
Extensive bruising can result from either applying the cups for too long or with too strong a vacuum. In order to ensure patient safety, patients should be screened for reactive skin lesions and bleeding disorders.
In this procedure, the skin is punctured with a lancet or with sterile needles, such as those used for plum blossom tapping, before the cups are applied. Wet cupping may be done with either suction cups or fire cups. This technique, which draws out blood and other potentially infectious material, carries an obvious risk of exposure to and transfer of bloodborne pathogens.
When accidents occur
According to the Code of Ethics, registrants have the professional responsibility and accountability to safeguard the quality of care their patients receive. Registrants are expected to take preventive as well as corrective action to protect patients from unsafe, incompetent, or unethical care.
In the event of an accident, registrants must assume responsibility and act professionally to manage the situation in the best interest of the patient, and to properly document the incident.