According to the late model’s death certificate, her cause of death was reportedly a result of “neck manipulation by chiropractor.” Katie’s vertebral artery was torn and the blood flow to her brain was cut off. The death was ruled accidental.
Chiropractor Dr. Chett Mallett joins the panel to discuss the safety of visiting your chiropractor. Dr. Mallet offers his condolences to Katie’s family and explains that this type of incident is very rare. He says there are millions of chiropractic procedures done daily that never result in anything like what happened to Katie. He notes that like any type of care, “not everything is a 100 percent safe.”
So should you be worried about neck manipulation leading to a stroke or possible death?
“It’s literally 1 in 10 million or more, there’s no real serious conclusive evidence… there are so many factors involved. Considering there are 800,000 strokes a year – and not by chiropractors – it’s hard to tell… [if] it’s lifestyle or other events that have happened, but we do try to minimize our risks,” he tells The Doctors. “I’ve been practicing for 20 years and never had any a problem with any of my patients in that respect.”
ER physician Dr. Travis Stork notes that unfortunately when receiving care, there will always be a wide range of skill sets among doctors, levels of care will differ and sometimes accidents happen.