The Huffington Post—February 16, 2010
by Helene Pavlov, M.D., FACR, Radiologist-in-Chief at Hospital for Special Surgery
A recent NY Times article reported on overradiation at a number of institutions across the country. The article highlights some disturbing stories at a number of hospital and medical facilities including:
Some excerpts from the Times piece:
In New Jersey, 36 cancer patients at a veterans hospital in East Orange were overradiated -- and 20 more received substandard treatment -- by a medical team that lacked experience in using a machine that generated high-powered beams of radiation. The mistakes, which have not been publicly reported, continued for months because the hospital had no system in place to catch the errors.
In Louisiana, Landreaux A. Donaldson received 38 straight overdoses of radiation, each nearly twice the prescribed amount, while undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. He was treated with a machine so new that the hospital made a miscalculation even with training instructors still on site.
The report asserts that many of these mistakes could have been caught had basic checking protocols been followed.
Read the full story at huffingtonpost.com.