Probe of Radiation ODs Spreads to 4 Sites
Agency suspects brainb scan problem could be nationwide
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2009 5:05 AM CST
Some patients suffered hair loss after being overexposed to radiation during CT scans at the hospitals under investigation.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The FDA has widened a probe into radiation overdoses received during brain scans to include four hospitals, and now suspects the problem could be nationwide. Three hospitals in Los Angeles County and one in Alabama are being investigated after patients received up to eight times the normal amount of radiation during CT brain perfusion scans, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Scanners made by both General Electric and Toshiba were involved in the overdoses, according to an FDA official. "Given the fact that we are dealing with two manufacturers and multiple institutions, we wouldn't be surprised" to find more cases, he said. The agency is trying to determine whether the overdoses—which increase the risk of some forms of cancer and can cause cataracts—resulted from human error or equipment malfunction.