Radiation technology is used to facilitate cancer treatment for patients. However, there has been a recent increase in errors made during radiation treatment, causing devastating consequences. Radiation overdose was the subject of an in-depth investigation recently conducted by the New York Times.
A New York Times article cites numerous instances of patient death — not due to their cancer, but because of radiation overdose. One man, undergoing radiation treatment for tongue cancer, sustained a radiation overdose at a New York hospital when, due to an undetected computer error, his brain stem and neck were exposed to errant beams of radiation – for three consecutive days. This negligent treatment and the resulting overexposure to radiation left the man deaf, nearly blind, and unable to swallow or breathe.
In a different, but, similar incident, a breast cancer patient underwent 27 days of radiation overdoses. A linear accelerator machine used in her treatment was missing a filter, and, the radiation burned a hole in her chest. She suffered a wound that caused her excruciating pain so unbearable that she even contemplated suicide.
What is especially unnerving is that these incidents of radiation overdose are not isolated events. Last year alone, the largest wound care company in the country treated 3,000 radiation injuries. Most of these injuries were serious enough to require treatment in pressurized oxygen chambers that promote healing of radiation wounds.
The side effects of radiation therapy are well known and have been considered acceptable in light of the efficacy of the treatment. However, it is unacceptable to suffer from a radiation overdose because of the negligence of a professional, or, because of defective radiotherapy equipment.
If you have suffered radiation injuries because of hospital, outpatient clinic or doctor error, or, because of faulty equipment, you may have meritorious grounds to pursue a claim. Contact the experienced New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys at Blume Forte at 973-635-5400 to schedule a no-cost consultation regarding your possible case. We will evaluate whether there was any negligence involved in your medical care and treatment.