Radiation OverdoseOverdoses of radiation during cancer treatment can cause severe, life-threatening side effects. Recently, victims have been awarded multi-million settlements after filing lawsuits against Varian Medical Systems, manufacturer of a radiation system linked to scores of injuries and deaths.

Need a Texas Radiation Overdose Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was suffered an injury after radiation treatment using a linear accelerator, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit in Texas.

Overview

Radiation therapy is a powerful weapon in the fight against cancer. The treatment works by using X-rays, gamma rays, or similar forms of radiation to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors by damaging their DNA.

One type of radiation therapy is external-beam radiation therapy, which uses a machine called a linear accelerator to aim high-energy rays at the cancer from outside the body.

What is the problem?

Accuracy is extremely important because radiation therapy can damage non-cancerous cells. The side effects of an inaccurate treatment can be deadly, especially for radiation overdoses near the brain and spinal cord.

One of the fastest-growing radiation therapies, stereostatic radiosurgery (SRS), uses a highly-focused beam of radiation to target tiny tumors in the brain and spinal cord.

During the treatment, a robotic arm controlled by a computer moves around the patient and shoots a high-powered beam of radiation. Because there is often just a single potent dose, SRS systems require scalpel-like accuracy.

The problem is that SRS systems made by Varian Medical Systems and its frequent partner, BrainLab, have been linked to dozens of errors and several deaths, according to the New York Times.

Radiation Overdose Lawsuit in Hawaii Settled for $15 Million

September 2013 — The family of a lung cancer patient who was injured by a radiation overdose has settled a lawsuit for $15 million against Varian Medical Systems and doctors from the Pacific Cancer Institute in Wailuku, Hawaii.

The 45 year-old victim, Zacarias Chichioco Jr., was exposed to 2.5-times the correct amount of radiation for his first 21 treatments.

According to the lawsuit, his health quickly deteriorated and he had problems swallowing, hallucinations, hearing loss, and paralysis. He did not seek further treatment and died in 2011.

Problems With “Mix and Match” SRS Systems

Radiation OverdoseMany hospitals “mix and match” linear accelerators with attachments to perform SRS. Unfortunately, complex software and failure to detect errors can lead to serious consequences.

Risks associated with linear accelerator attachments:

  1. Computer-controlled metal “jaws” that shape the beam: If they are left open, the patient can be massively overdosed with radiation.
  2. Cone attached to the machine’s opening through which radiation is delivered: If the beam is even slightly larger than the cone, radiation will leak out and irradiate healthy tissue.

How Common Are Radiation Overdoses?

In December 2010, the New York Times reported that 76 patients in Missouri were dangerously over-radiated during SRS treatments. The problem continued for five years because the hospital did not realize that the equipment had been set up incorrectly.

Some experts argue there should be stricter laws regulating the “mixing and matching” of complex medical equipment from different manufacturers. Now, a growing number of people who were injured are filing lawsuits.

Symptoms of Radiation Overdose

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Burns
  • Fever
  • Dizziness and disorientation
  • Weakness, fatigue
  • Problems swallowing or dry mouth
  • Skin peeling
  • And more

Need a Radiation Overdose Lawyer in Texas?

Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.

Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”

The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas radiation overdose lawyers for a free lawsuit review.