When a chiropractor’s treatment falls below the accepted standard of practice and someone suffers an injury as a result, they open themselves up to a medical malpractice claim.
When one thinks of medical malpractice, chiropractic medicine does not often come to mind. There are many people who swear by chiropractic treatments and feel that they could not get by without them. People are often lured into thinking that because chiropractic is a more “natural” form of medicine it comes without risk.
The statistics on chiropractic malpractice are actually rather surprising. Three out of every 100 insured chiropractors in the U.S. will have a malpractice suit filed against them each year. Though extremely rare, the risk of death is still a possibility. Some believe that the major problem with chiropractic treatment is the lack of diagnostic training chiropractors have. Practitioners are taught to find the area of the spine that is out of alignment and manipulate it back into place. This treatment can be helpful to some, but harmful to others. The problem with this limited diagnosis is that it fails to take into consideration any conditions that do not directly involve the spine issue.
There are many different kinds of injuries that can result from chiropractic treatment. One of the most frightening is the possible risk of stroke due to neck adjustment. Not all chiropractors will perform adjustment on the neck because of the potential risk involved. This type of treatment can stretch the vertebral artery and cause it to tear or develop a clot, consequently causing a stroke. As most of us know, stokes can have a range of devastating consequences depending upon which area of the brain they affect and the extent of damage.
The statistics on this kind of injury are very vague though, because very little study has been done on this problem. It is estimated that these injuries occur in between 1 in 40,000 and 1 in 10 million adjustments. However, strokes are not the only chiropractic threat; other potential injuries include ruptured disks, torn ligaments, cracked vertebrae and damage to muscles and/or nerves. Many of these injuries can cause lifelong problems and discomfort and may lead to further health issues.Chiropractic adjustments are generally thought to be helpful and safe and many people feel that they benefit from them. Unfortunately, there are circumstances where injury to the patient results. If you or someone you care about has been harmed by a chiropractic treatment, it is a medical malpractice issue. In such a case it is advisable to consult a qualified medical malpractice lawyer who is knowledgeable in dealing with these kinds of cases.