Radiation Dosage Errors

The number of patients receiving excessive radiation after undergoing scans has increased to the point that the FDA is investigating and the NY Times covered the issue in a front page story today. While the initial paragraphs of the Times’ story highlighted the immediate effects of the excessive radiation, the long-term effects may include an increased risk of cancer and other health issues.
The Times’ story found that radiation overdoses has become more widespread than previously thought and the potential for serious health problems resuling from the excess radiation may pose unknown but serious future health risks.
“I cannot believe that this is not occurring in the rest of the country,” said Kathleen Kaufman, head of radiation management for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “That’s why we are so keen on the rest of the states to go look at this.”
Furthermore, it’s disconcerting that, in some instances, the NY Times appear to know more about the problem than the FDA. According to the Times,
“The F.D.A. was unaware of the magnitude of those overdoses until The Times brought them to the agency’s attention. Now, the agency is considering extending its investigation, according to Dr. Alberto Gutierrez, an F.D.A. official who oversees diagnostic devices.”
Considering the number of patients who receive scans today, excess radiation overdoses may be a serious health crisis that demands immediate attention.