Incorrect Doses of Radiation Provided to Philadelphia VA Patients

Earlier this month the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General’s Office issued a report about the prostate brachytherapy program at the Philadelphia VA Hospital.  According to the report, doctors from the University of Pennsylvania gave incorrect doses of radiation to 97 of 114 patients from February 2002 to June 2008.

Veterans are still filing claims against the VA for damages caused by these serious medical mistakes.  The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that 38 veterans or their widows are now pursing claims against the VA for these radiation mistakes.  They are seeking over $70 million dollars collectively.  Two families are seeking damages in federal district court.

Additionally, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the medical use of radioactive materials, has fined the Philadelphia VA more than a quarter million dollars which was paid by the hospital in April 2010.

Oversight Problems at the Philadelphia VA

The report not only found that incorrect doses of radiation were provided to patients, but that there were numerous problems with oversight that may have lead to the problems for patients.

UPenn May Also Face Legal Troubles

It has not yet been determined if the University of Pennsylvania or Gary Kao, the doctor who performed the radiation, may also be liable for damages caused by the radiation mistakes.  That determination is likely to be made by the courts after the exact nature of the contracts between the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia VA from 2002 – 2008 is determined. 

If you, or your husband or father, have been hurt by radiation mistakes at the Philadelphia VA then you should consult with a Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your potential rights to financial compensation.

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