Though naturally occurring in the world, affecting us every day in small amounts from as far away as outer space and as close to us as the ground on which we walk, the food we eat, and even in our own bodies, radiation administered in a hospital is another story altogether.
According to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), “Today, nearly half of the exposure of the U.S. population to radiation comes from medical sources.” Along with x-rays and CT scans, one-third of all successful cancer treatments use radiation to kill cells and shrink tumors.
RADIATION: OVERDOSE AND UNDERDOSE
Although radiation therapy saves countless lives, there is always some risk, much like surgery, even under the best circumstances. But additionally, there is a risk of malpractice, receiving too much radiation (overdose) and, in some cases, too little (underdose), allowing the cancer to spread. In extreme instances, overexposure can result in tissue death, paralysis, skin changes such as peeling and sores, and damage to other body parts and organs.
In some cases, patients have received radiation in the wrong part of the body entirely. The results are often fatal as was the case for Scott Jerome-Parks who was being treated for tongue cancer, but wound up receiving radiation treatment to his brain stem and neck due to a computer error.
THE CAUSES OF RADIATION INJURY
Unfortunately, human error is largely the culprit with this sort of radiation therapy malpractice. Possible causes include:
Poor safety procedures
Inadequate staffing and training
The bottom line: radiation treatment is dangerous and if the strict guidelines set out for health care providers to oversee and administer radiation aren’t followed, and you or a loved one was inappropriately exposed to radiation due to a doctor or medical professional’s negligence, you may have a claim.
Meshbesher & Spence should be your first call if you have been injured or your family has lost a loved one due to radiation treatment. The laws which govern radiation claims are complex. Contact the Minnesota attorneys at Meshbesher & Spence so that you can be confident that you and your family will be competently represented with integrity by the law firm Minnesotans know and trust.
Contact Josh Tuchscherer at Meshbesher & Spence to receive a free evaluation of your case to better understand your rights and options. Call toll-free 888-707-6374, 612-339-9121 or email Mr. Tuchscherer.
Learn more about radiation https://www.epa.gov/radiation/docs/402-k-10-008.pdf and radiation therapy https://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/treatment/types/radiation-therapy/radiation-fact-sheet.