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Hospital Error Leads to Radiation Overdoses

This article is more than 13 years old.

One of my close family members went to get a CT scan this morning, so it was with some alarm that I read this LA Times story about a simple error resetting a CT scanner that resulted in hundreds of brain scans performed on potential stroke patients that delivered eight times the normal dose of radiation. The story says:

The error went unnoticed for the next 18 months, until this August, when a stroke patient informed the hospital that he had begun losing his hair after a scan.

When the hospital reviewed its records, it found — and contacted — 206 people who had received the overdoses to inform them of the mistake. Only then, Elbaum said, did the hospital learn that about 40% of them had suffered patchy hair loss. Many also experienced reddening of the skin.

This program aired on October 14, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.


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