Examples of Chiropractic Malpractice
Chiropractic care has become increasingly popular in recent years as an alternative to traditional medical treatments. While many chiropractors provide excellent care to their patients, there are instances where their actions can cause harm. Chiropractic malpractice occurs when a chiropractor fails to provide the appropriate standard of care, resulting in injury or harm to the patient. This topic is important to explore, as it can have serious consequences for patients, who can suffer physical, emotional, and financial consequences.
Chiropractic malpractice can take many forms, but our Mississippi injury lawyers tend to see certain types over and over.
Chiropractic misdiagnosis occurs when a chiropractor fails to correctly identify a patient’s condition or misinterprets the symptoms, leading to an incorrect diagnosis. This can result in ineffective or harmful treatment, as the chiropractor may be treating a condition that the patient does not have or may not be addressing the underlying issue.
Misdiagnosis can occur for a variety of reasons, including a lack of training, inadequate patient history, or misinterpretation of imaging tests. For example, a chiropractor may mistake a herniated disc for a muscle strain and provide ineffective or even harmful treatment. Additionally, chiropractors may be more likely to misdiagnose conditions that are rare or outside their scope of practice.
The consequences of misdiagnosis can be serious for patients. They may receive unnecessary or inappropriate treatments for their condition, which can lead to prolonged pain, disability, and even further harm. In some cases, misdiagnosis can even be life-threatening.
To prevent misdiagnosis, chiropractors should take a comprehensive patient history, perform a thorough physical exam, and order appropriate imaging tests when necessary. They should also be aware of the limitations of their training and refer patients to other healthcare providers when necessary.
Nerve or vascular damageTop of Form
Nerve and vascular damage is a potential risk associated with certain chiropractic techniques, particularly spinal manipulation or adjustment. During these procedures, a chiropractor applies force to the spine or other parts of the body telling the patient that these things will improve mobility and reduce pain. However, if the procedure is not performed correctly or if excessive force is applied, it can cause nerve or vascular damage.
One all too common occurrence from chiropractic neck manipulation results in artery dissections of the fragile vessels, often the vertebral arteries, which carry blood through the neck to the brain. The arterial dissections can interrupt the flow of blood to the brain, which can cause a stroke. This sequence of events is referred to by neurologists as a “chiropractic stroke” and can be devastating to the patient, resulting in permanent injury or even death. Be aware of symptoms including numbness, tingling, weakness, slurred speech, facial droop, nausea, vomiting or pain in the head or neck following chiropractic manipulations. These symptoms can occur immediately after the neck adjustment or days or even weeks later. But if you notice one or more of them, you should go immediately to the emergency department, and tell the care providers that you developed these symptoms following a chiropractic adjustment. The ER doctors will then know to look for radiological evidence of arterial dissections and/or strokes so that treatment can be provided in a timely manner. Time is brain. Generally, the sooner blood flow is restored in the brain, the better the outcome for the patient. In severe cases, damage can lead to paralysis or loss of function in the affected area.
Patients should be aware of the potential risks of nerve and vascular damage during chiropractic treatment. Patients who have pre-existing conditions that affect the nervous system, such as spinal cord injuries or neuropathy, may be at a higher risk of nerve damage.
To reduce the risk of physical injury, chiropractors should be properly trained in the techniques they use and should use appropriate force during procedures. They should also take a thorough medical history of the patient to identify any pre-existing conditions that may increase the risk of nerve or vascular damage.
Informed consent is an important aspect of any medical or healthcare treatment, including chiropractic care. Informed consent means that the patient has been fully informed about the risks and benefits of the treatment they are about to undergo, as well as any alternative treatments or procedures that may be available.
When a patient seeks chiropractic care, the chiropractor should obtain informed consent from the patient before starting treatment. This means that the chiropractor must explain the treatment’s risks and benefits, as well as any potential complications or side effects. The patient must also be informed of any alternative treatments or procedures that may be available, so they can make an informed decision about their healthcare. Unfortunately, we have found that chiropractors often fail to discuss these risks with their patients before adjusting.
Failure to obtain informed consent can be a basis for in a malpractice claim against the chiropractor, if a patient is injured or harmed as a result of the treatment, that they were not fully informed about on the front end.
What are the consequences of chiropractic malpractice on Mississippi patients?Bottom of Form
Chiropractic malpractice can result in a variety of negative consequences for patients. Some of the potential consequences include:
- Worsening of the original condition. Chiropractic malpractice can lead to exacerbation of the patient’s original condition or injury. This can occur if the chiropractor uses improper techniques or manipulations, or fails to diagnose or treat the condition correctly.
- New injuries. Chiropractic malpractice can also result in new injuries or complications, such as artery dissections and strokes caused by neck manipulations, herniated discs, nerve damage, or fractures. These injuries can occur as a result of incorrect techniques, over-manipulation, or other errors.
- Chronic pain. Patients who experience injuries due to chiropractic negligence may develop chronic pain that can persist for months or even years. This can be particularly debilitating and can have a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life.
- Psychological distress. Patients who are injured due to chiropractic malpractice may also experience psychological distress, such as anxiety or depression, as a result of their injuries and the impact they have on their daily lives.
- Financial losses. Patients who suffer injuries as a result of chiropractic negligence may also incur significant financial losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
If you believe your injuries are a result of chiropractor malpractice, it’s important you speak with the Mississippi attorneys at Merkel & Cocke, PA as soon as possible. We understand the complexities and nuances of chiropractic malpractice cases and are committed to fighting for the justice and compensation you deserve. Our team of skilled attorneys will work tirelessly to investigate your case, gather evidence, and build a strong legal strategy to hold the responsible parties accountable. We work with a large network of expert resources to ensure you have seasoned professionals on your case.
Fill out our contact form today to schedule a free personal consultation with an expert member of our team. Our four convenient office locations include Jackson, Clarksdale, Greenville, and Oxford.
After graduating from the University of Virginia Law School in 1975, Mr. Cocke and Mr. Merkel established Merkel & Cocke, P.A. in 1982. Since that time the emphasis of Mr. Cocke’s practice has progressed toward medical malpractice. At the present time his practice is exclusively devoted to handling medical negligence cases for the plaintiff, either as a result of direct contact by the client or on referral from other attorneys who are not familiar with the handling of medical negligence cases. Mr. Cocke was selected Best Lawyer of the year for 2012 and 2014 in The Memphis area in the field of Medical Malpractice and has been selected a Best Lawyer and Super Lawyer every year since 2006. Learn more about John Hartwell Cocke here.