CT Center for Patient Safety Newsletter
Quality Healthcare is a Right  February 23, 2009 
In This Issue
Janet Levy presses for disclosure
Featured Article
This week in Hartford
In the next few days, healthcare reform will be the topic in Hartford.
 On February 24, HealthFirst Authority meets to vote on broad guidelines to drive the reform needed to improve the quality, access and costs of our health delivery system
On  February 26, health policy panels will be held all afternoon on needed health care reforms.
On Tuesday, March 2 Public Health Committee will be hearing our bill on pharmaceutical industry reform.  Even at this late date, we do not have bill numbers but I will be sending you a special alert later in this week.  We are going to need your email, your voice to make the difference.
Don't forget you can watch CT-N on your computer or your television

and you can get updated information on the CT General Assembly Website.

A new and interesting website


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Powerful testimony from a CTCPS member
Testimony of Janet Levy in Support of SB 90                          February 6, 2009

Good afternoon Senator Harris, Representative Ritter and distinguished members of the Public Health Committee,
My name is Janet Levy and I am a survivor of a chiropractic stroke. Since I started VOCA, Victims of Chiropractic Abuse....4 years ago, I had already met many victims but I never ever suspected that I would eventually meet or talk to hundreds of young people who had had a stroke after a chiropractic manipulation. I mean, who would ever think this was even possible. After all, chiropractors advertise that what they do is safe and natural.  .

In February of 2002, I went to a chiropractor because I had a stiff shoulder from sleeping on a new pillow. He gave me a cervical adjustment.  Unbeknownst to me, he tore one of my vertebral arteries. One night I woke up from bed with a severe headache, dizzy and began vomiting. I thought maybe I had eaten something wrong. For almost 2 hours, I laid on the bathroom floor. Then I felt fine and went back to bed. In the morning, I called the chiropractor after I looked up my symptoms on-line. I asked him, "could I have had a  stroke after something that you did  because you know I did feel a little weird when I left your office. "Look, there is no way you could have suffered a stroke. What I do is safe and natural."
Long story short, a few days later, I found myself in an ambulance, being rushed to a hospital.  No one figured that I had  had a stroke. After all I looked too young for a stroke. They did test after test.,x-rays,cat scans, spinal tap...Finally they did an MRI at the insistence of my medical doctor, whom my husband called. They found the tear in my artery and immediately began administering blood thinners. However, it was too late. A clot broke off and went to my cerebellum and I had to be whisked off one Saturday morning to have emergency brain surgery. The last thing I remembered was that my 14 year old son was leaning over my bed crying as the nurse pulled off my jewelry to give to him.

When I woke up I was paralyzed and then days later I regained my right side. I spent weeks in the hospital . I remember laying there helpless. just praying to die most days....even though I had a great husband and 2 wonderful boys. . I figured that my children would be better off without the burden of me. My 14 year old son, said to me one night, "Mommy you can't leave us, we need you." I cried all night and began asking to live. And that I did. I was determined to be myself again After 2 years and working nearly 7 hours a day with PT's, OTs, aqua therapists, & yoga therapists, I got my life nearly back to where you see me today. It is so hard to believe that the person screaming to die, over & over again was me....yet the medical records show that that was all I kept crying.

But this is not about me. It is about the hundreds of young people who this happens to.
Young people between the ages of 25-45 who have no money, minimum insurance, young kids and they had no idea that there was any risk at all with a chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractors know. They have it written in their textbooks and they have it on their web-sites. There are books, articles and TV reports about it since 1937. And yet here we are in 2009 still listening to stories of victims .

Our bill will not stop this from happening, but at least people will be informed so that they would be able to make their own informed decision. At the very least, if after an adjustment and they had a discharge summary with them, they would know that when they experienced signs of a stroke, they should seek help immediately, because with stroke, time is everything..the difference between being almost stroke -free and paralyzed for life ..
A huge difference for a young person in their 20's just starting out in life.

It is time for truth and transparency in chiropractic care. It is not about chiropractors
and their business and whether they are being singled out or how often it happens. It is about patients rights and THEIR health and their right to know.

Louis Sportelli, President  of the largest Chiropractic Insurance Company  says, Even one cerebral vascular incident that could have been prevented or detected is one too many."

I couldn't agree with him more.Dear (Contact First Name),
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