KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Error In CT Scan Machine Led To Radiation Overdoses In LA Hospital

More than 200 CT scans delivered eight times the normal dose of radiation to potential stroke patients in a Los Angeles area hospital since February 2008 because of a scanner reset, The Los Angeles Times reports.

"Hospital officials said Monday that the error occurred in February 2008, when the hospital began using a new protocol for a specialized type of scan used to diagnose strokes. Doctors believed it would provide them more useful data to analyze disruptions in the flow of blood to brain tissue." The reset overrode the instructions the scanner came with when it was installed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. About 40 percent of 206 people subjected to the overdoses had suffered patchy hair loss and/or reddening of the skin (Zarembo, 10/13).

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