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Programming Error Gives People 8 Times Correct Radiation over 18 Months

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In attempt to get better data, a hospital overrode default protocol on a CT scanner over a year ago. Now they've realized that they made a little mistake and have been giving people eight times the acceptable doses of radiation.

The issue only affected the scans of stroke patients so damage was limited to affecting about 200 individuals over the course of the 18 months during which the error in programming went unnoticed. While those patients are experiencing symptoms of radiation poisoning, such as hair loss, there's at least good news in that the FDA has finally issued alerts to hospitals to read the freakin' manuals before fiddling with their equipment. [LA Times via Slashdot]


Photo by Akira Ohgaki