Articles, Blog November 8, 2016

Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance: Katie May Update

In a previous blog post, Dr. Stu Hoffman, the president of ChiroSecure, discussed about something that’s in the news right now – the Katie May case.

It was reported that Katie May, who was an actress and a model, almost a year ago had a fall during a photoshoot. She subsequently went to the emergency room, and later on decided to go seek treatment from a chiropractor. Afterwards, she wasn’t feeling so well, went to the emergency room, and later that day, she wound up dying.

Dr. Stu explained that it’s imperative for chiropractors “to be able to respond to this news, and all of these segments that are out in the public right now, about the association between chiropractic and strokes.”

In this post, we are sharing some updates from Dr. Stu re: Katie May case, which is important for chiropractors in their practice and to the chiropractic community as a whole.

Together with his friend, Gerard Clum, D.C., they discussed in the recent video hangout about how chiropractors should respond to inquiries regarding Ms. May’s death (be it coming from prospective patients or from any other interested individuals). What action chiropractors should take in dealing the stroke issue?

Important points tackled in the discussion

  • What has been reported so far about the Katie May case…
  • What is known about the situation…
  • What is yet to be learned from this case…
  • How the case squares with the evidence published to date…
  • What chiropractors can learn from this experience…
  • What chiropractors need to do differently in light of this case
  • Putting the reaction to this case in context as a chiropractor

Watch the full video below

Takeaways from Dr. Stu and Dr. Clum’s discussion on the Katie May case

  • That the Katie May case appears to fit the scenario of a dissection in progress — that is the neck pain was a sign of the dissection underway.

    In the majority of these cases, when a patient dissects, the dissection produces neck pain and headache, the patient seeks care for the neck pain and headache, and then goes on to develop embolic stroke, it is essentially the same rate whether he/she attends to a chiropractor or to a medical doctor.

  • And, therefore, it is imperative that a chiropractor is able to detect any symptom that could possibly lead to a stroke; chiropractors should pay close attention to issues like “pain unlike anything I have ever had before,” or “I am experiencing double vision” as these symptoms most likely need a medical referral.

    Other symptoms that you have to consider a medical referral: if you hear a bruit; difficult swallowing; difficult speaking – these are major stroke signs

  • It is important review literature on the relationship between cervical spine adjusting and arterial dissection – whether that be a matter of association or causation; review Cssidy, 2008; Kasloff, 2015; Church, 2016 – these offer critical understanding about the problem, the case.
  • ChiroSecure, a provider of superior chiropractic malpractice insurance coverage and protection, is the way to go for an updated informed consent; records should reflect the informed consent discussion; chiropractors should maintain informed consent documents signed by the patient (a strong document offers a stronger way to protect your practice)
  • Relative to neck pain and headache, chiropractic is the safest intervention across the spectrum of things to be done with people
  • The job of a chiropractor is to protect the patient, act in their best interest every time and in every way

If you have more questions about dealing with the stroke issue, don’t hesitate to contact ChiroSecure. Call us today at (866) 802-4476