One of the drawbacks of living in a high tech society is that our population is being exposed to increasing amounts of radiation. In the medical field, radiation is a part of more diagnostic tests and treatments than ever before. The improper administration of radiation or accidental irradiation of patients can cause serious immediate injuries as well as have long term consequences on the patients’ health. When radiation is administered improperly or patients receive incorrect doses, the patients and their families have the right to receive compensation for the cost of treating any ensuing injuries or conditions that may result along with the pain and suffering caused by the error.
The Increased Use of Radiation in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Illness
Most of us are unaware of how integral radiation has become to diagnostic testing and the treatment of illnesses. While everyone is aware of the use of radiation during X rays, it is less common knowledge that MRI tests are performed while using ionized radiation in order to produce the images generated in the scans. Every imaging test utilizes radiation to some degree and it is estimated that the average person today will be exposed to seven times as much radiation during his or her life than in previous generations.
Radiation therapy is also very popular in the treatment of various forms of cancers. Unfortunately, the misapplication of radiation may result in the worsening of the cancer or the development of new cancer cells— especially in cases where the radiation is administered to the wrong area of the body.
Injuries Caused by Radiation Over-exposure
Short term symptoms of overexposure to radiation begin with nausea, headaches, fever, vomiting and visible burns to the skin. These symptoms can then develop into dizziness, fatigue, hair loss, lowered blood pressure, bloody stool and the development of cancer as the patient suffers from radiation poisoning. Radiation poisoning is extremely painful and must be detected and treated quickly in order to ensure a more positive prognosis.
Due to the gruesome and agonizing nature of overexposure to radiation, the victims of overexposure and their families have every right to demand accountability from the responsible parties. The damages that may be sought include compensation for the physical, emotional and mental pain that accompanies many of these injuries as well as the damage done to the victim’s family in the event that he or she passes away as a result of his or her injuries.
Causes of Overexposure
While human error accounts for many of the cases of radiation overexposure, other factors may come in to play as well and it is important to gather all of the information available in order to determine fault. The main causes of radiation overexposure include the following.
- Defective equipment that administers incorrect doses of radiation either during radiation therapy or diagnostic testing.
- Failure of technicians to follow required safety protocol to ensure that the patient is protected from radiation during diagnostic tests.
- Improper maintenance of equipment and the failure of staff to perform routine checks to ensure that equipment is working as it should.
- Administering the incorrect dosage of radiation or administering the radiation to the wrong area of the patient’s body.
- Training programs for radiation emitting devices that are insufficient to ensure the proper use of equipment and implementation of proper safety protocols.
If you or a loved one has been overexposed to radiation during a medical procedure, the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers may be able to help you. Contact us today for a free consultation and we will examine the details of your case, perform our own investigation and go over your rights and legal options with you. It is our first priority to make sure that you have access to all of the treatment and resources that you need to be able to treat your injuries and to make sure that the cost of that treatment is recovered from the facility that is responsible.
We will never require payment from you upfront and because our attorneys work on a contingency basis, we will only be paid upon successfully securing compensation on your behalf. If we are unable to do so, our services and advice come at no cost to you or your family.