Sep 13, 2013
By Jane Brown
The review for possible errors in 3500 CT scans and mammograms by a Toronto area radiologist highlights what may be a critical problem at Canadian hospitals. Some radiologists and medical leaders say the lack of national oversight standards for diagnostic tests, results in medical errors and missed or inaccurate diagnoses. Matthew McInnes is a radiologist and residency program director at the University of Ottawa. He says this means in many cases its left to hospitals to determine what quality assurance measures should be in place, which he says creates vulnerabilities when oversight is lax.
One woman, 28 year old Houda Rafle says she had a CT scan at Mississauga Trillium Hospital in March and was told everything was fine, but she continued to feel unwell. “In July was when I really started to the feel the symptoms and I went to my family doctor just to get an x-ray because I just wanted to make sure everything was okay. And I asked my family doctor to fax the x-ray over and then that’s when I got a call to come into emergency from the hospital.” That’s when she was told that the original diagnosis was incorrect and in fact, she had cancer. Rafle says she now has stage four lung cancer. Her’s is one of 3500 scans under review for possible mistakes at Mississauga Hospital and Queensway Health Centre in Etobicoke.