Bloodletting acupuncture has been used for the treatment of a variety of upper respiratory tract problems, especially those of laryngeal origin. This study assesses its efficacy in reducing the incidence of stridor after tracheal extubation in children undergoing general anaesthesia with halothane. Sixty children were randomly allocated to an acupuncture group and a control group. In the acupuncture group, bloodletting acupuncture was performed before extubation. A blinded observer determined the presence and severity of postextubation stridor. The incidence of stridor in the acupuncture group was significantly higher than in the control group. In addition, the severity of stridor was significantly greater in the acupuncture group. It is concluded that in children undergoing halothane anaesthesia, the incidence of postextubation stridor cannot be reduced by bloodletting acupuncture.