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X-ray overdoses could cause cataracts

November 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The number of patients thought to have been exposed to X-ray radiation overdoses at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has grown.Hospital officials said in a statement that 260 patients were affected -- 54 more than originally thought. They also said they have found that the affected patients could be at a higher risk for developing cataracts.

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision, and are very common in older age.

The hospital says the overdoses were caused by an incorrect setting on a CT scan machine.

The hospital says about 20 percent of the 260 patients had radiation exposure to the lens of their eyes.

Hospital officials notified the affected patients by letter. They apologized to them and said the overdoses were "completely unacceptable."

They also offered to pay for the treatment of any subsequent health problem and make their staff available for any questions or concerns.

Cedars Sinai officials said they would continue to work with the USDA to help prevent the same situation at other hospitals in the future.