Regulators and researchers can only guess how often radiotherapy accidents occur. With no single agency overseeing medical radiation, there is no central clearinghouse of cases. Accidents are chronically under reported, records show, and some states do not require that they be reported at all.
In June, The Times reported that a Philadelphia hospital gave the wrong radiation dose to more than 90 patients with prostate cancer — and then kept quiet about it. In 2005, a Florida hospital disclosed that 77 brain cancer patients had received 50 percent more radiation than prescribed because one of the most powerful — and supposedly precise — linear accelerators had been programmed incorrectly for nearly a year.
If you or a loved one have been subject to a radiation accident, please tell us your story: leave a reply by clicking Tell your story here.