Safety

Alleged radiation overdoses and a coolant leak lead to CT scanner troubles

Hospital Safety Insider, October 13, 2009

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Separate problems with CT scanner settings and coolant made the news in bad ways over the last week:
  • In a situation that is attracting plenty of attention, 206 people received significant overdoses of radiation while undergoing CT scans at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, federal and hospital officials said. The incidents, which allegedly occurred over an 18-month period starting in February 2008, are under investigation by California public health officials and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA issued a safety alert that said, “This situation may reflect more widespread problems with CT quality assurance programs and may not be isolated to this particular facility or this imaging procedure (CT brain perfusion).”
  • Meanwhile, the ER at Boulder (CO) Community Hospital closed for several hours last Saturday after a coolant leak from a CT scanner prompted fire officials to evacuate three patients, according to the Daily Camera of Boulder. A nurse noticed a strange odor, firefighters were summoned, and they discovered the leak. The cause of the problem was unclear, the Daily Camera reported. A temporary ER was set up in another area of the hospital while crews worked to clean up the leak and disperse the odor.



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