CEO of Sport and Spine Rehab and Kaizenovation Advisers, Dr. Jay Greenstein, sat down last week with the Fox Medical team to discuss the events surrounding the tragic death of model, Katie May.

Summary of Video:


 

Katie May suffered from a stroke, caused by an arterial dissection. Before the stroke, she saw her chiropractor, which led the coroner to decide that the chiropractic adjustment is what led to her death.

The question that remains on many people’s minds, however, is did the chiropractic adjustment really cause the stroke? It’s possible, however, there is really no way to tell for sure. We simply do not know all of the facts. What we do know, however, is that there is a lot of evidence stating that the likelihood of a person suffering from an arterial dissection following a neck adjustment is extremely rare. In fact, studies show that in general, adjustments do not place enough strain on the vertebral artery to even cause a tear. (1)

 

So what else could have happened to cause this stroke?

It’s possible that (1) the fall could have caused the arterial dissection, (2) the treating chiropractor missed the early warning signs, and (3) the chiropractor decided to adjust her neck which in the end could have caused her to suffer from a stroke. It’s possible that this tragic event could have been avoided had the early warning signs been caught.

The facts around this tragic event highlight one point in particular: The early warning signs of stroke are likely being missed. In one study, researchers from John Hopkins found that over 13% of people who presented with either a stroke or the early warning signs of a stroke at the ER were being missed (2).

 

What do we need to do as healthcare providers and/or patients?

  1. As healthcare providers, we need to be more diligent about how we evaluate our patients.
  2. As patients, we need to be more diligent about sharing all of the signs and symptoms and history with doctors so that they can make an appropriate diagnosis.

 

What should you say to your chiropractor or healthcare provider next time you see them?

  1.  Ask what evidence there is to back up their recommended course of treatment.
  2. Ask about the risks associated with their recommended course of treatment.

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=53099
  2. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/study_suggests_medical_