VA Hospital’s Radiation Treatments Missed Site

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission found eight apparent violations at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, associated with the incorrect placement of iodine-125 seeds used to treat prostate cancer, according to an NRC press release.



The medical center’s review of prostate cancer treatments had identified 98 medical errors out of the total of 116 treatments conducted on 114 veterans between 2002 and 2008.
     “We discovered an absence of safety checks and balances,” said Mark Satorius, regional administrator for NRC Region III Office, in Lisle, Ill., according to the NRC’s press release.
     This issue first came to the NRC’s attention in May 2008, followed by the discovery of more medical events at VA Philadelphia that involved delivery of a dose that was either 20 percent higher or lower than the prescribed dose or delivery to an unintended area.
     A medical consultant hired by the NRC found that several patients experienced symptoms that could be related to the medical errors in their treatment, such as inflammation and damage to the lower parts of the colon, rectal bleeding and recurrence of cancer.
     The NRC and the Department of Veterans Affairs will meet Dec. 17, so the NRC may obtain information to assist it in making an enforcement decision.

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