FDA Investigation Cites Human Error in CT Scan Radiation Overdoses

ImagingBiz.com | November 12 – A recent series of radiation overdose incidents in CT brain perfusion exams were likely due to improper use of CT systems, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Earlier this week, the agency announced the results of its investigation into these incidents, noting that they were “most likely” caused by human error rather than by scanner malfunction. The investigation, which began in October 2009, also revealed that at least 385 patients had received excessive radiation from CT brain perfusion scans performed at five hospitals in California and one in Alabama to confirm the presence of stroke.

In making the announcement, the FDA revealed plans to hold follow-up discussions with manufacturers about how equipment and training might be altered to increase the safety of CT scans, specifically CT brain perfusion scans. These discussions will be part of its “Initiative to Reduce Unnecessary Radiation Exposure from Medical Imaging”, which covers x-ray fluoroscopy as well as CT.

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