Database of radiological incidents and related events--Johnston's Archive

Marietta radiotherapy accident, 1985

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 13 June 2004

Date: 3 June 1985

Location: Kennestone Regional Oncology Center, Marietta, Georgia, USA

Type of event: radiotherapy accident


A defect in the computer program controlling the Therac-25 radiation therapy accelerator resulted in an overexposure to a patient. A 61-year old woman received a localized dose of 15,000 to 20,000 rads and immediately reported pain. Operators did not recognize the accident until the woman developed severe radiation burns later, eventually requiring removal of one breast and caused permanent impairment.

Consequences: 1 injury.


© 2004 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 13 June 2004.
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