STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

X-ray blunders: Mistakes and faulty equipment put patients at risk

A RECORD number of hospital patients are being exposed to potentially harmful levels of radiation due to mistakes and faulty equipment.

There were 1,116 recorded incidents in 2014 in which a patient was exposed to too much radiation, which can cause burns, poisoning and lead to cancer. In three cases, a mistake by the operators caused patients undergoing tests to be exposed to more than 100 times the recommended level of radiation. In most cases, staff either set machines incorrectly, scanned the wrong part of a patient’s body, or, in some cases, the wrong patient. In just 13 cases, the overexposure was down to faulty equipment.

Radiation is employed in X-ray machines and scanners for diagnoses while targeted radiation is used to treat some cancers. Experts say that although the number of radiation errors is logged at more than 20 a week, the chance of such a blunder happening is about one in 81,000. Some of the errors in which a worker was to blame included 23 mammograms to seek breast cancer.

In total, 435 patients were overexposed, with 151 patients given the right exposure but on the wrong part of the body and in 517 cases the wrong patient was exposed. In 2013, there were 983 cases of overexposure.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/600100/X-ray-blunders-mistakes-faulty-equipment-patients-risk-UK-hospitals

xray-600100

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