Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Reducing harm from radiotherapy

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 08 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:272

Rapid Response:

Human error is,indeed, inevitable

Professor Donaldson states in his article that "..human error is
inevitable.." and the half page devoted to corrections in the current
issue would appear to support this.
Unfortunately Professor Donaldson's own article appears itself to contain
an error in relation to the 2006 overexposure incident at the Beatson
Oncology Centre. He states that " was not realised that a manual
calculation needed to be applied.." when , in fact, the error was that a
manual calculation was applied which shouldn't have been . This is made
clear in the Scottish Executive's report on the incident.
A small difference, perhaps, but the sort of small error which may have
large consequences.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 February 2007
Jonathan J Nicoll
Consultant Clinical Oncologist
Paul Barker
Cumberland Infirmary CA2 7HY