Expert Massage Therapist Comments on Fatal Patient Injury

Cody Porcoro

Written by
on October 31, 2017

This case concerns a female patient with MS who signed up for massage therapy treatments and ultimately passed away from severe complications. The massage clinic was self-advertised as a specialized practice for clients with MS, and had been recommended to the patient as one of the best of its kind in the area. The woman arrived slightly late on the day of her schedule appointment and was rushed in without ever giving her full medical history. During the massage, she suffered a vertebral artery dissection and was rushed to the hospital, where her health rapidly declined and she passed away. An expert in massage therapy for patients with MS was needed to determine whether the actions of the clinic constituted a breach in the standard of care.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please briefly discuss your background in massage therapy, especially as it may relate to MS patients.
  • 2. Has a similar incident occurred in your practice?

Expert Witness Response E-091338

My background in Massage Therapy is extensive. I have personally designed and taught in two separate programs for approximately 10 years. I have practiced for 30 years, and currently teach Continuing Education courses to Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Physical Therapy Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Assistants, Athletic Trainers, and Massage Therapists nationally. I have never had a similar incident, and am currently working with our Board Of Directors of the International Academy of Chiropractic Neurologists to define guidelines and risk categories for cervical manipulation relative to Stroke and Arterial dissections.

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