Medication Errors Cause One Death Every Day and 1.3 million Injuries annually in the US

How Common Are Medical Errors? Does Medication Kill People?

A News Release by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 17, 2017, states the fact that, “Medication errors cause at least one death every day and injure approximately 1.3 million people annually in the United States of America alone.” Their press release announces an initiative to reduce that number by half within the next five years.

Medication Errors Cause One Death Every Day and 1.3 million Injuries annually in the US-AUstin-Tx-Chiropractor-Natural-Healthcare-Spine-Nervous-SystemAlthough the release notes that many countries do not keep good records on drug errors, the WHO estimates that worldwide the cost of medication errors is $4.2 billion, equal to about one percent of the world’s total expenditures on healthcare. According to the WHO release, “The Global Patient Safety Challenge on Medication Safety aims to address the weaknesses in health systems that lead to medication errors and the severe harm that results.”

Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General stated, “Apart from the human cost, medication errors place an enormous and unnecessary strain on health budgets. Preventing errors saves money and saves lives.” Dr. Chan continued, “Most harm arises from systems failures in the way care is organized and coordinated, especially when multiple health providers are involved in a patient’s care. Any one of these, or a combination, can affect the prescribing, dispensing, consumption, and monitoring of medications, which can result in severe harm, disability and even death.”

In the WHO release, Liam Donaldson, WHO’s envoy for Patient Safety, stated, “Over the years, I have spoken to many people who have lost loved ones to medication-related errors and their stories, their quiet dignity and their acceptance of situations that should never have arisen have moved me deeply.” He continued, “It is to the memories of all those who have died due to incidents of unsafe care that this Challenge should be dedicated. There is a need for an organizational culture that routinely implements best practices and that avoids blame when mistakes are made.”

Dr. George Curry, president of the International Chiropractor Association commented on this issue by saying, “While every healthcare professional should applaud the effort to reduce medication errors that lead to harm, the discussion should also address ways to reduce the over utilization of medications in the population.” Curry continued, “One sure way to reduce the incidence of medical errors is to look to other forms of care that do not involve medications. Chiropractic has always represented an alternative to the medication approach for many millions of people.”

Dr. Robert Braile, chiropractor and author makes the point, “I guess a half reduction in the number of deaths and injuries would be considered by some as progress. But even if the WHO initiative is successful, that would mean that the WHO has a goal of only one death every other day and 650,000 injuries each year. Why is this level of carnage acceptable from a healthcare delivery systems that touts the mantra, ‘First do no harm?'”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. Austin chiropractor located in north central Austin, TX.


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Seizures Stopped Under Chiropractic Care

How Common is Epilepsy? Does Chiropractic Care Help Seizures?

The Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published a case study on February 23, 2017, documenting chiropractic bringing about the resolution of seizures of a woman suffering from epilepsy. The authors of the study define epilepsy by saying, “Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes seizures in the absence of any underlying medical condition such as fever.”

Seizures Stopped Under Chiropractic Care Austin TX Chiropractor Head Neck Injury Pain Nervous System Best Reviews1Epilepsy is fairly common. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that in 2013, 1.8% of the population, equaling 4.3 million adults over 18 years of age, suffered with this affliction. The CDC also estimated that 1% of those under the age of 18 also have epilepsy. This means that a total of 5.1 million people in the U.S. alone suffer with this problem at a cost of $15.5 billion in healthcare costs each year.

In this case, a 22-year-old woman went to the chiropractor seeking help for her health issues. At that time, she was suffering from daily headaches and was getting a seizure about every third day. Her seizures would last from several minutes to up to an hour. Her medical care for these problems consisted of medications which were largely ineffective.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural analysis, range of motion, orthopedic and neurological tests, thermographic studies, and x-rays. Findings of the test and x-rays were indicative of the presence of subluxation in the woman’s upper neck.

The patient completed a “Quality of Life in Epilepsy” patient survey (QOLIE-89) prior to beginning care to be used as a baseline, and to evaluate changes as care was rendered. On this initial test, the woman’s score was 29.27 indicating a very low quality of life. An average score for epileptic patients is 67.90 for this test.

As soon as chiropractic care was started, the patient reported that she stopped having headaches and no longer had any seizures. This improvement was noted after the very first visit and the patient remained headache-free and seizure-free throughout the course of her care. A follow up QOLIE-89 survey was performed and the woman’s score had increased to 80.715, an improvement in her score of 51.445 points, which is 12.275 points higher than the average.

This case was not an isolated one as the authors also reviewed several previous studies of chiropractic care for people with epilepsy. What they noticed was that, of the 17 cases documented in studies, 14 of those patients who were taking medication for their seizures did not see any benefit. However, when these patients received chiropractic care, 15 of the 17 reported positive outcomes.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, “This case adds to a body of evidence of patient-reported improvements in seizure activity following a course of subluxation based chiropractic care.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. Austin chiropractor located in north central Austin, TX.


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Migraines, Chronic Sinus Congestion, and Teeth Grinding Helped with Chiropractic

Can Children have Migraines? Does Chiropractic Work for Headaches and Migraines?

A case study published in the December 2016 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics records the case of a young girl suffering from migraine headaches being helped by chiropractic care. In addition to migraines, the patient also received help with sinus congestion and the grinding of teeth.

Migraines, Chronic Sinus Congestion, and Teeth Grinding Helped with Chiropractic - Austin Texas Chiropractor Motor Vehicle Car Truck Injury Accident Lawyer Attorney PIP LOPThe study begins by reporting that migraine headaches are the second most common cause of chronic recurrent headache in school children with a prevalence ranging from 3.2 to 14.5%. Migraines in children are different than adult migraines in that the episodes of children’s migraines are typically of shorter duration and occur on both sides of the head.

The International Headache Society has a list of five criteria for the classification of pediatric migraine without aura. These are:

  1. A minimum of 5 attacks fulfilling features B to D
  2. Headache attack lasting from 2 to 72 hours
  3. Headache has at least 2 of the following 4 features:
    1. Unilateral (frontal/temporal) location commonly bilateral in young children
    2. Pulsating quality
    3. Moderate to severe pain intensity
    4. Aggravated by or causing avoidance of routine physical activity
  4. During the headache at least one of the following:
    1. Nausea and/or vomiting
    2. Photophobia and phonophobia (may be inferred from their behavior)
  5. Not attributed to another disorder

In this case, a 6-year-old girl who was suffering from frequent migraines without aura was brought to the chiropractor. She had been suffering with migraines rated as 5 out of ten, three times per week for the past 6 months. The young girl described the migraine as a diffuse pounding sensation behind her forehead and she felt slightly nauseated. Her parents also reported that their child often ground her teeth at night and was suffering with chronic sinus congestion year round.

Six months after the start of her headaches, a chiropractic examination was performed and care was started. During the first month of care, the child was able to discontinue the ibuprofen she had been taking for her condition. The pain had reduced to a level of two out of ten and the frequency dropped to one headache per week.

Unfortunately, the girl and her family moved further away from the chiropractor and her care was discontinued. During the interruption in care, the girl had a flair-up of headaches which sent her to the hospital and medication was resumed. Several weeks later, her family decided to drive the hour-plus to return to her chiropractor for care.

After the resumption of care, the girl continued to improve to the point where she only experienced occasional mild headaches that did not interfere with her schoolwork or sports activities. Her chiropractic care continued and she was able to discontinue the headache medications. Additionally, her parents reported that their daughter did not grind her teeth as much at night and she wasn’t complaining of mild congestion after going to the pool or playing outside.

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Anxiety and Panic Attacks Resolved Under Chiropractic Care

Can Chiropractic Care Help Anxiety? Does Chiropractic Help Panic Attacks?

Published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on October 17, 2016, is a documented case study of a woman suffering from panic and anxiety attacks being helped with chiropractic. The study begins by stating, “Anxiety disorders involve abnormal feelings of worry or fear that can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school, work and relationships.”

anxiety-and-panic-attacks-resolved-under-chiropractic-care-austin-tx-chiropractor-best-reviews-yelp-google-nextdoor

The study notes that there are several different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder. It is estimated that 18% of the adult population in America are affected by some form of anxiety. Panic disorder has a significant impact on the quality of life and is characterized by sudden periods of intense fear. This can be accompanied by palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate, sweating, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath, smothering or choking, and a feeling of impending doom.

Anxiety is commonly treated with medications or, psychotherapy. It has been well documented that the use of antidepressant medications has grown steadily in the past decade, and represents a growing health issue itself. In an attempt to seek alternatives to medications, more people are turning to other approaches including chiropractic care for anxiety.

In this case, a 49-year-old woman with a chief complaint of anxiety and panic attacks went to a chiropractic clinic in New Zealand. Associated with her anxiety, the woman was also suffering from tight gripping chest pains which began following three years of financial, work, family, and relationship stresses. She also had symptoms of gastrointestinal pain and discomfort, mild numbness of the arms and hands, tachycardia and headaches.

She had been prescribed an antidepressant drug which had reduced her chest pain but increased her anxiety and panic attacks. Her history included a significant amount of past physical, psychological and emotional trauma. Additionally, she had been struck by a car as a pedestrian and suffered a number of fractures and other injuries.

Chiropractic care was initiated at the rate of three visits per week. Within three weeks of beginning chiropractic care, the patient reported a reduction in anxiety and panic attacks. Overall, she reported much less anxiety and a significant reduction in the intensity and frequency of her panic attacks and chest pains. When she was experiencing panic attacks, she noted that she felt more in control, and was able to resolve them more easily. Because of this, she was able to reduce her medication.

By the tenth week of care, the patient reported that she felt better than ever and had not had a panic attack for the prior two weeks. After fourteen weeks of care, the woman reported a complete resolution of her anxiety, panic issues, as well as her related symptoms and she was able to discontinue her medication.

As part of their conclusions, the authors summed up the impact this study may have by noting, “Subluxation based chiropractic care may provide a significant contribution to the management of patients with anxiety disorders.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Lowering the Bar: Adult ADHD, a Risky Diagnosis?

Do Adults Need ADHD Medication? What Are ADHD Medications Side Effects?

The above headline comes from a September 10, 2016, article on MedPage Today that calls into question the growing numbers of adults taking ADHD medications. The article begins by noting that opioid abuse has recently been the focus of much public attention, but less talked about is the growing problem of abuse and the growing numbers of people using ADHD drugs.

lowering-the-bar-adult-adhd-a-risky-diagnosis-austin-tx-chiropractor-health-wellness-chiropractor-car-truck-accidentThe article notes that since 2013, the FDA has received 19,000 reports of complications from ADHD drugs. The vast majority of these come from stimulants like Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin, and Vyvanse. Adults seem to be far more likely to suffer adverse events involving hospitalization or death than are children.

According to the latest federal estimates, Adderall has led the way for increased usage going from 345,000 people in 2006 to 1.4 million in 2014. The number of emergency room visits due to Adderall and Ritalin have increased fivefold over the past 7 years. Between the years 2010 and 2015, sales of ADHD drugs increased from $7.9 billion to $11.2 billion.

One concern is that ADHD drug testing on adults lasts only several weeks or months and falls far short of the years that many other drugs are tested. This means that the long-term effects of these drugs are not known.

The article gives two basic reasons for the jump in usage. First is the aggressive marketing by the drug companies that produce these drugs. Second, they note that the diagnostic criteria for prescribing these drugs has been greatly relaxed allowing more people to fall within the diagnosis that is treated with these drugs. In other words, “The bar has been lowered.”

A panel from the American Psychiatric Association made the recommendations to lower the criteria in 2013. The article noted that 78% of the experts making the recommendations had financial ties to drug companies who benefited from the panel’s recommendations.

The article notes that some of the symptoms needed to reach an adult ADHD diagnosis include such vague items as an inability to focus on tasks, fidgeting, or interrupting others. Additionally the article reported that, “One study published in 2010 found that 22% of adults tested for ADHD had exaggerated their symptoms.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Woman with Vertigo Helped by Chiropractic

What is BPPV? Can Chiropractic Help Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo?

On August 25, 2016, a study was published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documenting the case of a woman suffering from Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo being helped by chiropractic. The term vertigo is often interchanged with dizziness. However, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is more exactly described as a spinning sensation perceived with changes of head position and movement.

woman-with-vertigo-helped-by-chiropractic-austin-tx-chiropractor-for-dizziness-balance-brain-and-cerebellumBPPV is fairly common. The Vestibular Disorders Association reports that this problem occurs in 107 out of 100,000 people per year. Over a lifetime, about 2.4 percent of the population will suffer this condition, which is more common in women than men.

In this case, a 33-year-old female teacher presented herself to the chiropractor. She was suffering with BPPV. According to the woman, her vertigo was constant, aggravated by movement, and she was unable to find relief. She described the feeling like being on a cruise ship all day, and she was nauseous. She was unable to walk fast or make sudden movements without making the problem worse. She was unable to drive and had to be driven to her appointments. The woman also reported that, additionally, she was experiencing neck and lower back pain.

In the preceding seven years, the woman had experienced three prior episodes of vertigo. It was reported that her medical doctor “shook her head” and the vertigo was relieved. When her new episode occurred, her MD prescribed medication which the woman refused to take since she was nursing her baby.

A chiropractic examination was performed consisting of palpation, thermal scans, a surface EMG study, and spinal x-rays. It was determined that vertebral subluxations were present and a program of specific chiropractic adjustment were initiated.

The case study reports that by the third chiropractic visit, the woman was experiencing fewer vertigo episodes. Additionally, her neck and back pain had decreased. The woman continued to improved, and by the fourth visit, she was able to drive herself to the office for her appointment. By the 14th visit, the vertigo had resolved and the woman no longer had any of her original symptoms.

In their conclusion, the authors explain how chiropractic helps patients suffering with vertigo by stating, “The various connections between vertebral subluxation, the vestibular system, and altered neurological responses have been explored. It is therefore suggested that those suffering with vertigo seek chiropractic care before resolving to medication or surgery, as chiropractic adjustments address the cause of neurological dysfunction, rather than masking symptoms.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Improvement of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) with Chiropractic

What is GERD? What is Effective for Pediatric Reflux?

A case study published in the May 2016 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics documents the recovery of a infant suffering with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) under chiropractic care. According to the Mayo Clinic GERD “…occurs when food backs up (refluxes) from a baby’s stomach, causing the baby to spit up.”

Improvement of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) with Chiropractic - Austin TX Pediatric Chiropractor HelpThe author of the study begins by noting that medical care for gastroesophageal reflux disease has not been shown to be effective. One study showed that the most common type of medication used for GERD has been shown to be no more effective that a placebo. Because of this, alternative care such as chiropractic is in great need for babies with this condition.

In this case, a four-month-old baby girl suffering from recurrent regurgitation after feeding was brought to the chiropractor. The baby was exclusively breastfed. The baby did not like being carried and often regurgitated after feeding. She also suffered with frequent crying, belching, interrupted sleep, choking, wheezing while sleeping, fussiness, distended stomach, and excessive intestinal gas.

The girl’s mother reported that she noticed these problems from about the second day after birth. In order to better sleep, the baby’s mother would place her on an incline mattress. The baby would also regurgitate almost every time her legs were raised to change her diapers.

A chiropractic examination was performed that included visual inspection, testing of reflexes, neurological testing, range of motion of the spine, palpation of the abdomen, and dynamic palpation of all spinal segments. Most of the test were normal. However, the abdomen was distended and areas of restriction were found in the spine. Subluxations were determined to be present and care was initiated.

The result of the care was the complete resolution of the baby’s GERD. The baby’s distended stomach returned to normal and the wheezing while sleeping stopped.

In the conclusion the author wrote, “Since current evidence fails to support traditional medicinal methods to treat GERD in infants, chiropractic care merits investigation as a safe alternative that might prove more efficient than medication and with fewer side effects.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Older Americans Taking More Medications

What is Polypharmacy? Can Chiropractic Care Reduce My Need For Medication?

The headline above comes from a March 21, 2016, Reuters news story published in response to a pre-released study on this subject published in the April 2016 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. This article, and several others on this same subject, reported on the growing usage of medication by the increasing elderly population.

Older Americans Taking More Medications - Austin Texas Chiropractor help for car accident injuryThe study showed that 87.7% of the population 62 to 85 years old used at least one prescription medication in 2010-2011. This was up from 84.1% in 2005-2006. Even more alarming was that the study showed that people using five or more prescription medications increased from 30.6% to 35.8% in the same five year period.

The Reuters article begins by noting that people using multiple medications, known as polypharmacy, was associated with an increase in major drug interactions in older Americans. Dr. Dima M. Qato, the study’s lead author from the University of Illinois at Chicago, commented, “That’s a concern from a public health standpoint, because it’s getting worse.”

The study showed that because of the increase in polypharmacy, the percentage of people at risk for serious or even life-threatening drug interaction has gone from 8 percent in 2005-2006 to 15 percent in 2011-2012.

Dr. Qato also stated in a CBS interview on this issue, “Many of these potentially deadly drug interactions involve prescription and non-prescription medications and supplements that are not commonly used, but are increasingly being used by older adults. While it is not known how many older adults in the U.S. die of drug interactions, the risk seems to be growing and public awareness is lacking.”

“It is time to take the next leap forward. We need to create systems that support an ongoing process of monitoring medications,” said Michael A. Steinman, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, in an accompanying editorial. “Such systems would help us periodically assess the benefits, harms and ongoing need for each of a patient’s medications, as well as the reasonableness of the medication regimen as a whole. These systems could also help physicians with deprescribing, for example by supporting gradual down-titration of a medication and monitoring patients for adverse drug withdrawal reactions after a drug is stopped.”

“As much as we need to support reforms in medication monitoring, we seriously need to examine the culture of taking so many medications,” says Robert Braile D.C. chairman of the International Chiropractors Association Public Relations Committee. “Americans represent about 5% of the world’s population, yet we consume about 50% of the prescription medication in the world. This, coupled with the fact that the U.S. ranks far below many other nations in almost all health statistics except spending, should lead us to question whether or not the culture of a pill for every ill is a healthy and prudent direction.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson.


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