Cali law will protect patients from radiation overdose

September 30, 2010
by Heather Mayer, DOTmed News Reporter
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill Wednesday that will protect hospital patients from radiation overdoses - a response to more than 260 accidental overexposures at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The events were publicized in a New York Times series looking at overexposure risks.

The law would require hospitals to disclose radiation overdoses during computed tomography exams and to record the doses from all scans in the patient's medical records. The bill's author, Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), noted that while the dose appears on the CT operator's computer screen, there was no requirement to make that information available to the patient.

"SB 1237 will help protect patients. There is an urgent need for protocols and safeguards to prevent radiation overdoses," said Padilla in prepared remarks in August when he sent the bill to the governor. "This bill will provide physicians the information they need to track dosage levels, identify errors and prevent patients from receiving overdoses of radiation."