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Hospital Gives Teenage Girl
Massive Radiation Overdose

February 12. 2006

Lisa Norris, a 15-year-old teenager being treated for a brain tumor was reportedly give 17 potentially deadly radiation overdoses at the Beatson Oncology Centre in Glasgow, Scotland, were she was seeking medical help. Beatson is Scotland's largest cancer centre and the second-largest in the UK.

Human error has been blamed for the mistake, the effects of which are not yet known. Lisa's parents, said doctors had warned that the overdoses could prove fatal. The hospital has launched an investigation into the blunder.

Lisa began radiation therapy on the 5th of January after four blocks of chemotherapy at Yorkhill Hospital. Last Tuesday staff told her the tumour had gone. She was said to be celebrating her recovery when consultants came to her home to tell her about the error.

According the the girl's father, Ken, The teenager has developed large sores on her scalp and ears, is permanently hot and has to take cold showers to cool herself down. "Doctors say at best she could land in a wheelchair or be paralysed, but at worst this could be fatal," he said.

Dr Lesley Walker, director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK, said: "Because an overdose like this is extremely rare, it will be difficult for doctors to know exactly what lasting effect the overdose could have.

"It may be three months before they know exactly what has happened and which parts of her body may have been affected."

Professor Alan Rodger, medical director of Beatson Oncology Centre, said,"We are conscious of the distress that is being caused to Lisa and her family and we are very sorry this mistake happened."

He said: "Immediately upon discovering the overdose, we launched an internal investigation.

"This investigation established that no equipment failure was involved but that the overdose was the result of human error."

Professor Rodger said that the investigation had also confirmed that no other patient treatments were affected.

The Scottish Executive health department is to conduct its own inquiry.

For more information click below:

Probe after cancer girl gets radiation overdose

Apology for radiation error girl

Hospital gives teenager radiation overdose

Girl is given radiation overdose 17 times after hospital blunder