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Alabama Woman Files Suit Over CT Scan Radiation Overdose

Dec 16, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

GE Healthcare has been named the defendant in a lawsuit involving a botched CT scan

According to the class action lawsuit, Becky Coudert had a scan on Sept. 8 at Huntsville Hospital in Alabama. She said she soon lost her balance, had trouble with her memory and her hair fell out in a narrow band from ear to ear.  The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Alabama, claims the GE Healthcare CT scanner lacked safety features to warn of radiation overdoses.

The lawsuits seeks a minimum of $5 million to set up a fund to cover future healthcare costs and payments, specifically providing regular monitoring for brain cancer in all affected patients.

In October, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was investigating CT scan overdoses. The FDA probe was launched after Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles confirmed that 206 patients mistakenly received eight times the regular dose of radiation during CT brain scans. Just last week, the FDA released interim results of its investigation. In addition to the cases at Cedars-Sinai, the agency identified at least 50 additional patients who were exposed to excess radiation of up to eight times the expected level during their CT brain scans.

To date, all of the radiation overdose cases involve more than one manufacturer of CT scanners. The FDA has not yet determined if the overdoses were the result of human error or some sort of equipment problem.

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