Baltimore Washington Medical Center, located in Anne Arundel County Maryland, was recently fined by the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) a result of medical malpractice. The settlement agreement reached between the MDE and Baltimore Washington Medical Center stemmed from an error in which the hospital administered an improper dose of radiation. The MDE became involved because radiation doses are supposed to be limited to levels as low as reasonably achievable, pursuant to the Maryland Radiation Act. A copy the article can be found here. .
As a result of the self-reporting system, the hospital notified officials, as well as the patient, about the error in which the patient was exposed to radiation inconsistent with the treatment plan. While it’s likely that the medical mistake will not result in any negative effect on the patient, radiation doses that are too high can kill cells while those that are too low can damage or alter the DNA within the cells.
As a result of this mistake, and in addition to the $14,000 fine, hospital officials will have a radiological health official present at each of their next four radiation safety meetings to make sure the hospital is in compliance and to provide guidance if necessary.