The need for a chiropractic adverse events reporting system in Australia

John E Cunningham, Joanne Benhamu and David Hawkes
Med J Aust 2014; 200 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/mja13.11347
Published online: 3 March 2014

To the Editor: Following media reports of a complaint to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency regarding a 4-month-old baby’s neck fracture following chiropractic treatment for apparent torticollis,1 the president of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia stated that “not a single serious adverse event has been recorded in the literature (worldwide) involving a qualified chiropractor treating a child since 1992”.2 However, an examination of the medical literature on adverse events related to chiropractic reveals an interesting story. A PubMed search for “chiropractic adverse event(s)” identifies 18 primary research papers since 1992 that could be classified as examining adverse events, none of which were Australian.

  • 1 Royal Melbourne Hospital and Epworth Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Friends of Science in Medicine, Morayfield, QLD.
  • 3 Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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