Thursday, February 09, 2006

Another Radiation Therapy Treatment Incident

In another unfortunate radiation incident, a 15 year old girl from Scotland who received Radiation Therapy for a rare brain tumor (pineoblastoma) was accidentally overdosed during her 17 treatments. It sounds as if she is already experiencing severe erythema. The amount of overdose has yet to be released.

These type of incidents are going to occur despite how much quality assurance is performed. Especially when a center like the Beatson Oncology Centre, where this occurred, that treats 6500 Radiation oncology patients a year on ten linacs. Most of the time something like this happens someone catches it while it can be corrected. But, like the incident at Moffitt in Tampa, sometimes it slips through the whole course. I've seen it happen before and it is amazing to see how many people can not pick up on the obvious.

It is terribly unfortunate for they young lady but is also devastating for the workers involved in this mistake. Their professional careers are irreparably damaged not to mention the personal dismay at the damage they caused to this young lady. People in Scotland are already calling for their dismissal.