KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

FDA Probes Excessive Radiation Dose Cases

The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: "Federal health regulators are investigating reports of dangerous radiation levels at two more California hospitals, following earlier unsafe medical scans at a Los Angeles facility. The Food and Drug Administration is probing the use of CT scans at Glendale Adventist Medical Center and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Calif. The brain scans are used to diagnose strokes. FDA officials said they are investigating at least 10 reports of excessive radiation at Glendale Adventist and an unspecified number of problems at St. Joseph. ... The FDA began looking into problems with CT scanning in October after patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles reported losing hair or skin redness" (12/8).

Los Angeles Times: "Unlike the other cases, which involved scanners made by General Electric, the scanner at Providence St. Joseph was made by Toshiba -- adding a new dimension to the investigation. 'Given the fact that we are dealing with two manufacturers and multiple institutions, we wouldn't be surprised' to find problems elsewhere, said Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, acting director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health." The paper reports that the FDA is also looking into "possible overdoses" at a hospital in Alabama (Zarembo, 12/8).

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