Radiation Exposure Lawsuit Filed Over CT Scans at LA Hospital

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By: AboutLawsuits | Published: October 22nd, 2009

A California man has of has filed a class action lawsuit against Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Hospital on behalf of himself and 206 other patients who were allegedly exposed to radiation overdoses during CT scans.

The radiation exposure lawsuit was filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court in California on behalf of Trevor Rees, seeking class action status for all patients who were subjected to high levels of radiation due to incorrectly administered CT scans at the hospital over an 18 month period.

The complaint comes less than a month after the FDA issued a safety alert warning that some CT brain perfusion scans may be giving patients overexposure to radiation. According to the alert issued on October 8, more than 200 patients were exposed to eight times the normal amount of radiation while receiving CT brain perfusion scans for diagnosis and treatment of strokes.

The FDA did not specifically identify Cedars-Sinai Hospital, but the Los Angeles hospital has since admitted that patients were accidentally exposed to higher-than-normal radiation. The incident has raised concerns that there may be a more widespread problem with radiation overexposure associated with the CT scans at hospitals throughout the United States.

Rees is the only plaintiff named in the CT scan lawsuit, alleging that he suffered radiation exposure symptoms after being scanned at the hospital; including reddening of the skin, burns, hair loss, and flaking of the scalp.

Cedars-Sinai Hospital maintains that while the radiation exposure levels were higher than they are supposed to be, the exposure was similar to that experienced by patients undergoing other procedures, such as angioplasty. Investigators found that the CT scan machines had been manually manipulated to produce better pictures, inadvertently increasing the amount of radiation exposure.

The hospital says that it has put in place new procedures to prevent over-exposure in the future, including rules that stipulate any changes to the machine’s settings will have to go through the hospital’s head CT technician. The hospital is also providing more training for technicians working with the machine, and has said that the overexposure experienced by Cedars-Sinai patients was “unacceptable.”

The FDA is investigating whether similar incidents are happening at other facilities, and warns that such incidents may be going unrecognized and unreported, leading to long-term overexposure for patients. After gathering more data about the situation, the FDA indicates that a determination will be made about whether there are more widespread risks and the need for any actions.

In the interim, regulators are advising that all facilities performing CT scans should review their CT protocols and pay close attention to dose indices displayed on the machines’ control panels. Operators should “make sure the values displayed reasonably correspond to the doses normally associated with the protocol,” the warning stated. “Confirm this again after the patient has been scanned.”

The FDA is asking that any incidents of CT overexposure or other adverse CT events be reported to FDA’s MedWatch program.

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There Are 21 Comments So Far • (Add Your Comments)

  1. I have lost my hair after being in the hospital in San Diego, CA. Same thing that LA Hospital victims had. Help!

  2. Me too. Which hospital in San Diego? Military?

  3. I am in San Diego and had CT’s and subsequent CT Angiograms. I began losing my hair, scalp peeling, eyebrow loss, and painful redness burns. I followed up with my Neurosurgeon, Interventional Radiologist, Neurologist, and internal medicine and they all said it wasn’t the CT scan. I received Prednisone and Dandruff medicine. I was sure it was the CT but no one believed me. And now this. I knew it! I am not crazy. In fact the technologist said that they would get great 3D images because they just installed a new CT Angiogram system. I bet the new system was the same as Cedars Sinai. Only now, 6 months later is my hair growing back and the pain subsiding. Anyone else in San Diego?

  4. Also, I did Google searches 6 months ago after losing my hair and experiencing scalp pain and peeling and found no reference. So the news substantiates what I was telling my doctors, that the symptoms were Radiation related and not allergic reaction. I have never had hair loss or scalp burns from an allergic reaction. I am glad the FDA is investigating further.

  5. i lost my hair after taking a ct scan.When I begin combing my hair lumps of hair comes out each time I comb it or it just fall out. I went to a Dermatologist and it did not help me. I had to get what hair I had left cut off.even when it did begin growing it never grew back back thicker nor longer like it was before.

  6. MY hair fell out in masses for about 3+ months after just getting hip/back(2009) and the in (2001) a chest xray- at Warner Radiology.-Woodland Hills. 2009, I experienced my hair just falling out when turning my head and masses would just fall out if I combed it (I stopped combing and used my fingers lightly I remembered the same thing happened in 2001 (after a chest Xray there). Also-Had not dyed/processed my hair. Just too coincidental-I know somethign was NOT normal. FDA shld check this location out-also. I feel the Xray machines are set too high. 7 mos later (now) my hair does not just “fall” out (I observe it daily). I believe it is from the strong xrays (or time legnth of each xray).

  7. You all don’t know what you are talking about. I am a CT Technologist and have been for over 20 years. You don’t get radiation burns from a chest x-ray or any other x-ray for that matter. Radiation burns are caused by an unsafe exposure to a radiation source. You get more x-ray dose by flying across the US (being closer to the sun) than having a medical diagnostic x-ray.
    The CT the patient had who got burned was a brain perfusion scan to determine the extent of stroke. The scan is performed in the same location over time. They had their dose technique set incorrectly and this is why this patient got radiation burns. This would not happen on a normal operating system with a Registered Technologist at the controls.

  8. About a year ago i had a CT or MRI and was hurt by the machine.The burning and pain never stop. Vinnie——Alabama

  9. How long did it take these symptoms to appear after the scans?

  10. On Aug 1,2010 I accidently slipped and or tripped and fell prior entering my house from garage thru laundry room.I sustained a blow to my head and cut on left side of head temple area.I am not sure, memory foggy as to how long I was unconscious,I struggled noticeably bleeding from cut to bathroom sink and applied pressure and water to cut.I was stunned and in pain to neck ,head and knees.I thought I would recover on my own but was worse by Aug 3,2010.That day was spent trying to resolve personal finanacial situation and more time in garage.In short I got overheated inappropiately dosed with medication also dehydrated was taken to E.R.that night.Apparent disorientation,low blood pressure,confused,concussion symtoms and overdosage of medication, was given 2 CT scans of neck spine and head/brain and admitted to hospital .I was at their mercy.Severe headaches,neckpain, no appitite, nausea,musle weakness,depression,saddness,very hot due to no cool air in room due to faulty thermostat 79 plus degrees in room.I complained to Dr. and nurses about pain and tenderness to top of my head and all they would say yes it is a red area but would not touch or examine it which was oddly apparent.I can go on and on about odd and ?negligent? behavior jst stressed out .After I was dimissed on Aug 7,2010 or moreless kicked out was the beginning of my nightmares.My sister dicovered the 2 red inflamed bald areas on my scalp.My nights have been sleepless.I did call the hospital one morning at around 3:oo to speak to supervisor about my complaints.She did not resolve any of them.So here I am.HELP! I am at your mercy.

  11. shawn your full of remember the guy that invented the xray he was burned very bad read about him, i received a ct scan 3 times i have a perma burn on my neck i lost 30 pounds in 45 days my immune system went hypersensitve and when i ask for help from any docter they totaly avoid the subject and theres many documented cases in medical journals in university librairys so zip it go cover some other docters butt on some other forum !!!

  12. I have feel for these patients who have been overexposed during their scans. This problem can be solved by new software released that allows for a reduction in dosage (up to 80% in some cases). A companion product will also monitor dosage for each patient and allow the physicians to make a better decision in what levels of radation each patient recieves.

  13. I live in Gulf Breeze Florida and I ‘ve several MRI’s and Cat scan. I just found out the my hair falling out aground I say the crown of my head. I am 49 years old with long black hair the only area I am losing hair is all way around the upper sides of my head do you think this could be due to over exposure to radiation? is there any reported cases in the Gulf Breeze or Pensacola florida area?

  14. Ive been having some confusion and was recently told that ive got a glioma in the brain…could my past C.T. scans have any connection? im a 56 yo male

  15. I had radiation last year after surgery to remove a tumor called leiomyosarcoma from my right leg. Everything was fine until the machine “errored”. After they fixed it they continued with my regular dose. That night and the for the next few days my leg began to swell and turn bright red. The pain was so intense I could barley stand it. Within a few days my leg turned black and looked like a burnt hot dog. My friends and family were so afraid that I was going to lose my leg that they took lots of pictures. When I returned to the doctor on Monday to show him my leg and tell him that I could not take anymore radiation I could tell that something was wrong. Several of the radiology techs made comments as well that “this is not good”. It has been a over a year and my leg is still warm to the touch and very painful. It feels like there is nerve damage to the skin and my leg feels hard like a rock. I am on pain medication daily just so that I can continue working. I know that something happened that day but do not know how to prove it.

  16. I have gone to dentist who surreptitously burnt my feet with an x-ray nozzle pointed up, He sat me down and immediatlely moved a tray over my chest so the x-ray nozzle would could not be seen either when getting into the chair or while seated. He and probably other dentists are euthenizing people slowly and surreptiously for some kind of an agenda. I have reason to believe this is happening on a huge scale by dentists or doctors who are acting as puppets by a corrupt elite.

  17. A recent heart scan ordered by a cardiologist may have malfunctioned or was not set correctly. The system registered 183 milli-Grays, which is 18 RAD’s center chest. The hospital and cardiologist has gone into self-protection mode and will not answer my questions. It appears there is really no government agency that I can complain to. What can I do?

  18. Report them to the state radiation health agency then call a Lawyer who specializes in
    Medical device malfuntions you may have to call 1 of 2 but after reporting to radiation health access the next day they will be there and test machine and look at machine logs. Don’t just tale it. It can be deadly takes months some times to kill. Hope this helps and EVERY stayed has a radiation health access.

  19. My 21 year old son was just released from 3 visits to the ER and a 2 day stay in the hospital where he was diagnosed with gastritis possibly caused by food poisoning. Although he was in severe double over stomach pain with vomiting, the added discomfort was from a burning and itching sensation on his skin followed by a rash. After repeated complaints to the doctor and the nurses about his burning sensation, one nurse finally gave him some benadryl after I suggested it which helped with the itching but not the burning. The doctor from day one was pompous #%$^ and stated more than once that his pain was caused by anxiety and that he was being overly dramatic. This is a boy that while volunteering in Nicaragua, broke is ankle and walked around on it for a week before he could be seen. He is not a complainer. One nurse mentioned that his burning might be caused by the CT scan he received a few day prior and now I KNOW that’s what is going on. Why won’t the doctors listen to their patients?? I would love to see him burning from the inside out and tell him that he is just being overly dramatic!!!!! I am a furious frustrated mother and glad I found this site to vent my frustration. I am now home with my son and he is still crawling out of his skin with the burning. I am praying I find a doctor that will listen and do what they are paid to do….help people

  20. I was treated with oral radiation after cancer surgery in CA. Now I cannot eat, have trouble swallowing, and have been told I am permanently damaged by these radiation treatments. Does anyone know of a solution?

  21. I went to Drs for lower back and hip pain the clinic had own X-ray machine and I was taken in an had multiple X-rays taken several of same shot as first one didn’t turn out, at one point image wasn’t clear so she increased power and next image was totally black to much power 3 rd attempt she got image right this happened twice, problem was diagnosed and I was sent home with Rx sent to pharmacy on way home I stopped at pharmacy for script but wasn’t ready as Drs office to home just over 4.5 miles upon getting home fealt a wet patch on my lower right abdomin area the location of the X-rays I lifted shirt to see Hugh blistered area and red patch surrounding it all this less than 1 hr after the xrays went to ER was diagnosed with radiation burn 3rd degree and this was in October 2012 it’s now May 2013 and burn has healed upon one location but other spot keeps breaking down.

    And on top of this realized that they dosed me with between 15-30 gray of radiation to cause the burn so fast, and they also failed to cover me with lead aprons in locations around area being xrayed.

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