Radiation overdose in 200 patients leads to FDA safety notice

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 13 October 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4217
  1. Paula Gould
  1. 1Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

    The US Food and Drug Administration is investigating how stroke patients at a Californian hospital were exposed to excessive levels of ionising radiation during brain scans.

    More than 200 patients at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles who underwent computed tomography (CT) brain perfusion received up to eight times the anticipated dose of radiation. The overdosing continued unnoticed for 18 months and was discovered only when a patient reported unexpected side effects.

    Brain perfusion scanning is a relatively new way of ascertaining how much damage a stroke has caused to the brain and is currently practised more widely in the United States than in the United Kingdom. …

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