Embolism Lawsuits from Chiropractic Care

Many people are unfamiliar with the concept of a chiropractic-induced stroke, yet it is a very real risk for anyone who undergoes chiropractic care. When a chiropractor adjusts your neck, the sudden twisting can damage fragile arteries located in your cervical spine. Once those arteries are damaged, they can begin to bleed, eventually inducing a stroke. The chiropractic malpractice attorneys at The Abelson Personal Injury Law Firm, have found that the link between chiropractic manipulation and strokes is underreported in medical literature and is rarely formally acknowledged by chiropractors themselves.

How an Embolism Can Form after a Chiropractic Treatment

The brain requires a steady supply of oxygen in order to work properly. The blood the brain needs is supplied by a vast and intricate system of arteries. The arteries through which blood flows through the neck to the brain are known as the carotid and vertebral arteries. If the blood supply to the brain is cut off or reduced, it can cause serious damage to the brain. In extreme cases, it can cause death. An embolism is one of the many potential causes for a blockage of the blood supply to the brain.

An embolism is a blood clot, air bubble, fat or other substance (known as the embolus) that results in the blood supply being blocked. Often, an embolus travels through the bloodstream for some time until it encounters a narrow passage through which it cannot pass. When it reaches this point, it becomes lodged between the walls of the artery, preventing blood from passing through. An embolism can occur anywhere in the body; however, if it occurs in the brain, or in the arteries leading to the brain, it can cause a stroke, which can be fatal.

Many things can cause an embolism, including a chiropractic manipulation. When a chiropractor violently twists your neck, it can lead to a tear in the carotid or vertebral arteries. This tear can then turn into a blood clot, or embolism, which can lead to a stroke.

While some patients will suffer a stroke within hours of a chiropractic manipulation or neck adjustment, some do not suffer a stroke until days later, making the correlation between the adjustment or manipulation less obvious to the patient, as well as being the primary reason why chiropractic strokes are under reported in medical literature. The reason why there is a disparity in the amount of time that lapses is because the embolism, or blood clot, may break free and travel through one patient’s system faster than in another patient. Until the blood clot breaks free, it will typically not cause any apparent damage. Only when it breaks free and travels toward the brain, where it eventually becomes stuck at the point where the passage narrows, will it impede the flow of blood, causing a stroke.

With time, medical literature will likely begin to report with increasing regularity that stroke-inducing embolisms can result from a chiropractic manipulation. If you are concerned that you or a loved one suffered a stroke after a cervical manipulation by a chiropractor, you owe it to yourself to have a chiropractic malpractice attorney from The Abelson Personal Injury Law Firm, review the facts of your case. Our team works closely with a board-certified physician to determine the cause and extent of your personal injuries, as well as put together a prognosis and projection for the cost of your medical care in the future.

To schedule a free consultation, contact our Washington DC law office with this online contact form. Although based in Washington, The Abelson Personal Injury Law Firm, serves clients throughout the United States who have been injured as a result of chiropractic malpractice.


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