Deaths after chiropractic: a review of published cases

Int J Clin Pract. 2010 Jul;64(8):1162-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2010.02352.x.


Objective: The aim of this study was to summarise all cases in which chiropractic spinal manipulation was followed by death.

Design: This study is a systematic review of case reports.

Methods: Literature searches in four electronic databases with no restrictions of time or language.

Main outcome measure: Death.

Results: Twenty six fatalities were published in the medical literature and many more might have remained unpublished. The alleged pathology usually was a vascular accident involving the dissection of a vertebral artery.

Conclusion: Numerous deaths have occurred after chiropractic manipulations. The risks of this treatment by far outweigh its benefit.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Death, Sudden / epidemiology
  • Death, Sudden / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Chiropractic / adverse effects*
  • Manipulation, Chiropractic / mortality
  • Middle Aged