More CT scan radiation overdoses emerge at California hospitals

Two more California hospitals have confirmed that they overexposed patients to radiation during CT perfusion scans, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Although Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and Bakersfield Memorial Hospital followed dosage guidelines provided by the manufacturer, Toshiba, 18 patients received excessive levels of radiation, the LA Times reports.

According to the LA Times, Toshiba said it could not comment on the Bakersfield and County-USC cases because of the FDA's ongoing investigation. The manufacturer has continued to educate customers on "dose reduction technologies" for Toshiba CT scanners, it said in a statement.

While the two hospitals hold Toshiba responsible, health officials who investigated the County-USC overdoses found that hospital technologists failed to pay attention to dose levels while administering the stroke scans, notes the LA Times.

A conclusive explanation for the radiation overdoses has yet to be discovered. But as FierceHealthcare recently noted, the FDA is moving toward expanding its investigation. 

No matter the cause, an end to excessive radiation dosages may be on the way. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have been experimenting with a new image-processing algorithm that produces high-quality perfusion CT scans using up to 20 times less radiation than existing protocols, according to a Mayo Clinic press release.

[T]hough there is no documented risk of injury at the currently prescribed radiation levels, we are trying to lower the dose for the benefit of patients," said Dr. McCollough, a diagnostic radiologist at the Mayo Clinic.

For more:
- read the AP article in Business Week
- here's the Los Angeles Times article
- check out the Mayo Clinic press release