In what is beginning to seem like a recurring scene, another hospital has come forward and reported that some of its patients were exposed to high doses of radiation during CT scans.
The overdoses happened at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, where ten patients accidentally received three to four times higher doses of radiation during their procedures.
Rick Patterson, a partner at Owen, Patterson and Owen, a local law firm, represents some of the alleged victims of over exposure.
“People should not panic, but continue to monitor the hospitals that they go to and ask questions about the procedures,” said Patterson.
The problem occurred when patients who recently suffered strokes went in for CT brain perfusion scans. The procedure scans patients who are suspected of having suffered strokes within the previous three hours, with the goal of providing doctors with a better picture of the disruption of blood flow to the brain caused by the stroke.
“The problems have only been with the perfusion scans, so a routine CT scan that is not perfusion is not going to present a problem.” said Shelly Feldman, Medical Director at Prima Pediatrics.
It has been reported that no other patients who were scanned with the General Electric scanners were affected, because the settings for the brain profusion scans are different then other procedural setting.
County radiation officials began looking at other hospitals that use the procedure in the wake of the initial incident at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and discovered the overdoses at Glendale Adventist during an inspection Tuesday.
CT scans use higher doses of radiation to get a clearer picture during scans, and Patterson says that CT scans can have up to 250 times higher doses of radiation than conventional x-rays.
“From the time you have your first CT scan, till the time you have your last, all the radiation is cumulative in your body,” said Patterson. “The cumulative effect is what can be overwhelming and eventually increase the chances of cancer.”
As a result of the recent findings Dr. Feldman recommends these tips when going in for a CT scan:
• Ask your physician if they have a GE type scanner
• Has it been recalibrated recently
• What is the radiation dose
Also Patterson recommends asking if it is necessary to get a CT scan or will an x-ray or MRI work
To read more about the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center radiation overdose click here.