Newsinferno.com reports that a class action lawsuit has been filed against GE Healthcare in U.S. District Court in Alabama. The lawsuit claims that a CE Healthcare CT scan machine lacked adequate safety features to warn about radiation overdoses.
The lawsuit states that Becky Coudert had a CT scan on September 8 at a Huntsville, Alabama hospital. Soon after the scan, Coudert said she lost her balance, experienced memory problems, and lost a narrow band of hair from ear to ear. Hair loss is a common sign of radiation overdose. The lawsuit alleges that GE Healthcare “carelessly researched the design and failed to adequately test” its CT scanners and that the machines lacked adequate safety features to warn technicians in the event of radiation overdose.
The lawsuit seeks a minimum of $5 million to set up a fund to cover healthcare costs and provide regular monitoring for brain cancer in all affected patients. According to the lawsuit, the affects of the CT scan radiation overdoses may not surface for decades.
The FDA announced its investigation of CT scan radiation overdoses in October. The FDA investigation began after the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles revealed that 206 patients had accidentally received eight times the standard does of radiation during CT scans of the brain. The machine had been delivering radiation overdoses since February 2008 after it was reset. The error was not detected until August of this year when a patient reported hair loss.
Last week the FDA confirmed at least 50 more patients who were exposed to excessive radiation during their brain scans. These patients also received up to eight times the normal dose of radiation. An Associated Press report states that some incidents have occurred at Glendale Adventist Medical Center and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. The FDA reports that the radiation overdose cases involve other manufacturers of CT scanners besides GE Healthcare.
Two recent studies in the medical journal Archives of Internal Medicine suggest that even a single normal dose of radiation from a CT scanner can cause cancer, along with radiation from other radiation-based imaging technologies such as mammograms. One study estimated that 29,000 future cancers could be due to CT scans performed in 2007 alone. Another study found that low-dose mammogram radiation can increase the change of developing breast cancer by 150 in high-risk women. See CT Scans and Mammograms Cause Cancer to learn more.
Expect to see more high-profile lawsuits revolving around cancer-causing radiation from CT scans and mammograms. Now that scientific research confirms the risks of these imaging technologies, patients should be aware of their options. In some cases, the benefits of a CT may outweigh the risks. However, sometimes CT scans may not be necessary. Furthermore, alternatives to mammograms exist. If you’re concerned about radiation-based imaging, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
If you or a family member have been injured by a defective medical device or by medical negligence, contact an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorney immediately. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule your free consultation.