Many tests that are performed make use of radiation to see what is going on within the body. X-rays and CT scans are two that are used on a regular basis. However, the radiation itself poses a serious health risk for patients. When patients are required to undergo an excessive amount of tests, it is possible for them to fall victim to a radiation overdose. It is far too easy for this to happen because the top concern of the doctor and the technicians is not what is safe fro the patient but it is on getting a clear picture so a diagnosis can be made. It is all too common for patients to be exposed to dangerously high levels of radiation in the name of obtaining a clear picture, and this is grounds for a lawsuit.
Complications with Radiation
Radiation overdose is a far more serious problem for children, because they have a lower tolerance level. However, patients of all ages are at risk for an overdose so care should always be taken. Another major problem with excessive use of radiation is that the damage may not appear for many years. It is rarely seen immediately but rather will surface years later.
The elderly are also more susceptible to problems from radiation. Unfortunately, the elderly are also more commonly subjected to these radiation-based tests. CT scans are used after a stroke to ensure there is no residual swelling or clotting.
Because the results of radiation overdose don’t show for many years, patients often find that the statute of limitations has run out. Even in cases where the statute has not run out, they may not automatically make the connection between the problems they are having and radiation.
Symptoms of Radiation Overdose
It is important to know what the symptoms are of a radiation overdose so you can watch for them if you or a loved one should require some of these tests. Should the symptoms appear soon after, you should document all applicable information, including the name of the tech that ran the tests, the time of the tests and why they were ordered. More serious warning signs include hair loss and vomiting. However, you should also watch for general nausea, skin that becomes red or itchy, headaches, confusion and general weakness.