February 4, 2010
The family of a 60 year old woman who died from a perforated bowel related to a radiation overdose has reached a settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit they filed on her behalf.
Patricia Quirk was diagnosed with stage three endometrial cancer in 2003 and immediately began radiation treatment at an Illinois medical center. She received eleven treatments that were futile, during which she was severely over-radiated. The overdose of radiation caused her bowel to become perforated, which cased the sepsis that ultimately led to her death.
According to the Quirk family’s medical attorney, the victim was supposed to receive 180 centigrays of radiation, but instead received an alarming 270 centigrays. The wrongful death lawsuit claims that doctors failed to properly monitor and supervise the amount of radiation being administered and therefore did not catch the overdose.
Radiation treatments in normal doses take a tremendous toll on the body. Side effects like anemia, bleeding, infections, tissue irritation and hair loss are commonly seen in this type of cancer treatment. The idea of Ms. Quirk receiving 50% more than necessary is almost inconceivable. Unfortunately, it did happen, and her family is now left to deal with her premature death.
The Quirk family agreed to a settlement of $7.5 million for their loss, and the case did not have to go to court. If you have been a victim of radiation overdose, or lost a loved one as a result of this type of egregious medical error, you too may be entitled to compensation. Contact a medical lawyer right away.
December 20, 2009
In recent months there have been quite a few reported cases of radiation malpractice, enough to raise concern that it is becoming a little too common. The most recent case, involving an Alabama woman, even has the FDA launching an investigation.
Becky Coudert went to Huntsville Hospital in September where she was diagnosed as suffering from Bell’s Palsy, which causes paralysis of the face. In an attempt to confirm the diagnosis, Coudert was given a CT scan, a test that involves the use of radiation.
A few weeks later, she began having difficulty speaking and had blurred vision, and her hair began falling out. When she went back to the hospital she was informed that she may have been given an overdose of radiation. Not just a little overdose, either. Coudert received 12 to 14 times what she should have.
It is unclear whether the overdose was caused by human error or malfunction of the machinery, but regardless, Coudert has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit and the incident has caught the attention of the Food and Drug Administration, who is also investigating the hospital.
Perhaps the most disturbing part of the case is that the hospital in question may have actually administered too much radiation to some 60 patients. These patients are being contacted as part of the investigation.
Radiation overdose can be quite serious and some of the side effects include:
- Hair loss
- Erythema (redness of the skin)
Anyone who may have experienced radiation malpractice should contact a medical attorney immediately.
February 10, 2009
Perhaps one of the lesser talked about forms of medical negligence is that of radiation malpractice. But just because it’s not as common doesn’t make it any less devastating.
Patients receive radiation treatment for several different medical ailments, but probably the most common is in treatment of different forms of cancer. It is a dangerous procedure which should only be used when deemed absolutely necessary, because it can have significant side effects.
Regardless of the reason for treatment, radiation mistakes can be made with life altering results. Radiation malpractice cases typically include:
- Failure to inform patients of the possible side effects
- Performing radiation treatment when it is not entirely necessary
- Not following proper radiation procedures
- Technician is improperly or inadequately trained
- Use of faulty or outdated equipment
- Moderate to severe burns to the skin or internal areas being treated
As with any serious medical treatment, the doctor performing the procedure should be well trained and able to prepare their patient for what to expect. If they fail to do so, or they do not perform the radiation properly, causing injury or death, a malpractice case is inevitable.
Anyone who has experienced ill effects of radiation treatments due to a doctor’s negligence should consider sitting down with a medical attorney to discuss their situation and determine if their case constitutes radiation malpractice. If it does, then justice should be sought.