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

Los Angeles medical radiography accident, 2008-2009

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 19 December 2009

Date: February 2008-August 2009

Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Type of event: radiation overexposure during CT scans


Following implementation of a new procedure for CT imaging at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, stroke patients were overexposed during CT scans. From Feburary 2008 to August 2009, 206 patients received an estimated 300-400 rad exposures to the brain rather than the 50-100 rad intended. The error was discovered when a patient in August 2009 reported localized hair loss. After the incident case to the attention of the FDA in October 2009, similar accidental overdoses were reported from other sites: 14 cases at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Los Angeles; an undetermined number of cases at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Burbank, California; and an unspecified number of cases at an unreported location in Alabama. Reportedly more than 250 patients were overexposed, with a limited number suffering skin redness and/or some hair loss.

Consequences: 2+ injuries


© 2009 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 19 December 2009.
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