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No one pays closer attention to injury statistics than Malpractice Insurance carriers.

Scott Haldeman, MD, DC reviewed malpractice claims records for a 10-year period between 1988 and 1997. In reviewing the outcomes following the application of 134.5 million cervical manipulations (commonly referred to as the chiropractic adjustment), the records indicated that there were 23 reported cases of stroke or vertebral artery dissection (VAD). http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/165/7/905

Of this group, 10 of the patients had the complicating factors of high blood pressure, use of oral contraceptives, or a history of smoking, all of which are associated with vascular disease. The actual incidence of stroke or VAD following cervical manipulation was found to be one per 5.85 million cervical adjustments. That means that the average chiropractor could work for 1430 years (or practice 48 full chiropractic careers!) before they might be involved with this type of litigation.

Other reports, listing a higher frequency of adverse events, have been compromised by the tendency of those authors to inappropriately list the pracitioner as a chiropractor, even when it turned out that the injury was caused by a medical doctor, a physical therapist or a hairdresser! http://www.chiro.org/LINKS/ABSTRACTS/Misuse_of_literature.shtml

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