Chiropractic Maneuver Under Anesthesia Causes Cardiac Arrest and Death

Chiropractic maneuverThis case takes place in Kansas and involves a 40-year-old male patient who was under the care of a chiropractor for two months following a motor vehicle accident. The chiropractor suggested that the patient receive several manipulations that would be performed under anesthesia. The patient tolerated the first treatment with no complications, however during the second treatment the patient went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead on arrival at the ER.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Should this patient have been monitored more closely?
  • 2. What could have been done to prevent such outcomes?

Expert Witness Response E-000306

I do perform manipulations under anesthesia; I recently just performed an MUA and do so on a frequent basis. I usually take precautions by carefully choosing MUA candidates who I think would be a good fit for this procedure. I carefully examine the patient and if I find there are any possible contraindications or questionable findings, I most likely will have them sent for an examination by a medical doctor for surgical clearance especially if there are suspected cardiac problems. A breach of duty and/or negligence is certainly possible in this case.

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