A recent report determined that many Americans aren’t fully aware of the risks from radiation, and that the radiation used to treat patients can cause significant harm. For example, while radiation therapy is often deemed necessary in treatment of cancer, and it can be very damaging to the human body if not used carefully and appropriately.
When someone is exposed to excessive or inappropriate amounts of radiation, the following two types of injuries can occur:
- Contamination: Contamination occurs when the patient is improperly exposed to radiation treatment. The skin can become contaminated and the radiation can potentially be deposited inside the body.
- Incorporation: Incorporation occurs when the body's cells, tissues, and organs (such as thyroid, kidney, or bones) take up the radiation.
If such errors occur, devastating health conditions can arise such as internal bleeding, gastrointestinal issues, and a loss of white blood cells, which can leave your body open to other illnesses. In some circumstances, it can cause death. Where an individual suffers a radiation injury due to negligence, it may be possible to file a Los Angeles medical malpractice or wrongful death claim.
A recent expose chronicled the radiation malpractice suffered by Jn-Charles, a woman undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She developed skin lesions as the result of a programming error that caused her to receive 3 times the prescribed amount of radiation. She subsequently died as the result of over-radiation. Such error raised the question whether advances in technology have led to the systematic excessive radiation of patients.
While such a question is open to debate, the fact remains that radiation injuries can result in serious harm.
For more information, or if you believe you or a loved one may have suffered a radiation injury, please contact the experienced Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick &Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.