RN Jobs >> Browse Articles >> Medical Research/Science


FDA Investigating More Dangerous Brain Scans

FDA Investigating More Dangerous Brain Scans

(Source: Creative Commons)

Associated Press/AP Online

December 09, 2009

WASHINGTON – Federal health regulators are investigating reports of dangerous radiation levels at two more California hospitals, following earlier unsafe medical scans at a Los Angeles facility.

The Food and Drug Administration is probing the use of CT scans at Glendale Adventist Medical Center and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Calif. The brain scans are used to diagnose strokes.

FDA officials told reporters Monday that they are investigating at least 10 reports of excessive radiation at Glendale Adventist and an unspecified number of problems at St. Joseph.

A spokeswoman for Glendale Adventist said the problems, first disclosed last month, were related to a specialty scan that involves three different techniques.

“This procedure has been discontinued,” Alicia Gonzalez said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for St. Joseph Medical center had no immediate comment.

The FDA began looking into problems with CT scanning in October after patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles reported losing hair or skin redness. The hospital last month said 260 patients were exposed to excess radiation, up from prior reports of 206.

A Cedars-Sinai spokeswoman said the hospital continues to work with the FDA to identify the cause of the problems.

FDA officials say it’s unclear whether the dangerous exposures are being caused by human error or a problem with CT equipment.

Cedars-Sinai and Glendale Adventist both use scanners from General Electric. But FDA officials said they have received reports of problems at other hospitals using different brands of scanners, including models from Toshiba.

GE spokesman Arevind Gopalratnam said in a statement “there were no malfunctions or defects in any of the GE Healthcare equipment involved.” He added that the company is cooperating with the FDA’s investigation.

Agency officials said they also are investigating reports of dangerous CT scanning in Huntsville, Ala., although they did not specify a hospital.

NursingLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use NursingLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.