Officials at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, say a medical error that caused hundreds of patients to receive far more than the normal dose of radiation during CT scans may cause some of them to develop cataracts earlier than they would have otherwise.
The 909-bed hospital acknowledged last month that a specialized type of CT brain-perfusion scan was delivering unexpectedly high doses of radiation—up to eight times the normal dose—because of a computer error over the course of 18 months.
The hospital announced that an internal investigation has found 260 patients were affected by the higher radiation levels, up from the initial finding of 206 patients last month. The recent investigation found that approximately 20% of the 260 patients experienced exposure to radiation directly to the lens of the eye, which could increase the risk of cataract formation in those patients. Other patients have already reported hair loss. The hospital says it will pay for any care related to specific health problems caused by the radiation, a hospital news release says.
Following Cedars-Sinai's disclosure, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a national alert to hospitals because of the risk that the error was not isolated to the Los Angeles hospital or to CT brain-perfusion scans.