Chiropractic Adjustment in Playboy Model May Have Lead to Fatal Stroke

In February 2016 Playboy model and ‘Queen of Snapchat’, Katie May, died after visiting a chiropractor for a neck adjustment. Earlier in the week Ms. May had fallen during a photo shoot and injured her neck. She believed to have pinched a nerve and sought the help of a chiropractor on a Friday morning. By Monday, after a weekend of extreme pain, she suffered a stroke. The mother of one remained on life support until Thursday in which she was tragically proclaimed as being ‘brain dead’.

The incident left many to wonder how the 34 year old suffered a stroke, something which tends to be more common in older people over the age of 60. According to the L.A. County Coroner, the neck adjustment tore a major artery in Katie May’s neck. This led to the cutting of the blood supply, and eventually caused a stroke.

Can Chiropractic Adjustments Cause a Stroke?

Known by medical professionals as a cervical artery dissection (CD), it typically occurs from a trauma which causes a small tear in the arterial walls. Within hours, or up to 10 days, the blocking of blood vessels in the brain and blood clotting develop resulting in a stroke. This specific injury is more prone in young to middle age adults; however, it is still considered to be rare. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has noted “there is a lack of evidence to prove that cervical adjustments cause stroke.” on their website. Whereas, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) recently released a study which claimed there is a “Low risk of stroke after chiropractic spinal manipulation in older patients with neck pain.” However, when read in full detail, the study actually found that the risk of a stroke was 10% higher in people who sought treatment with a chiropractor over a doctor. This alarming finding is not the first of its kind with smaller studies being conducted in the years prior. These too also showed a small, but very much present, risk of people under the age of 45 having a stroke after chiropractic neck adjustments. Ms. May’s family wish to raise awareness about the possible risk factors of such adjustments which so many people see as being a “safe” alternative to standard routes of medical care. It is not yet confirmed whether or not her family will seek legal compensation for a wrongful death. If they do, surviving family members such as her daughter may be entitled to monetary and punitive damages.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time someone has died as a result of chiropractic adjustments. In 2004, a Washington D.C. woman filed a lawsuit, and won, after her 39 year old husband suffered a stroke from a neck adjustment. He passed away 6 days later.

The practice of chiropractic adjustments is a philosophy with very little scientific basis. Although the connection between the adjustments and strokes has yet to be confirmed, the evidence is not looking favorable.

Contacting a Nashville Chiropractic Stroke Lawyer

At The Higgins Firm, we are dedicated to helping victims and their loved ones who have been injured, or died, after a chiropractic adjustment. If you believe you have a case, it’s prudent to speak with an experienced Nashville chiropractic stroke lawyer. To schedule a free consultation with The Higgins Firm, please call 615-353-0930.


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