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Acute Radiation Syndrome

Radiation is used to treat or diagnose a wide range of diseases that affect today’s population. Common tests in hospitals and emergency rooms require radiation, and treatment for certain types of cancer necessitates prolonged, intense exposure. However, this treatment may cause complications. Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) is a short-term illness caused by irradiating the entire body with a high dose of penetrating radiation in a matter of minutes. Many tests use radiation to determine what is going on inside the body. X-rays and CT scans are two common diagnostic tools. However, the radiation itself is dangerous to patients’ health. When patients are subjected to an excessive number of tests, they may be exposed to a radiation overdose. It is far too easy for this to happen because the doctor and technicians’ primary concern is not what is safe for the patient, but rather obtaining a clear picture so that a diagnosis can be made. Patients are frequently exposed to dangerously high levels of radiation in the name of obtaining a clear picture, which is grounds for a lawsuit.

While the causes of action for radiation overdose are not exaggerated in any way, some symptoms are widely accepted as part of the risk. Fatigue is a very common side effect of radiation treatment, and it can also appear after several CT scans in a short period of time. Hair loss and low blood pressure are two other side effects. In most cases, all of these are regarded as acceptable risks in the context of treatment. However, if you have unusual symptoms or even normal side effects to a higher degree, this could indicate radiation poisoning. Low blood pressure is a common side effect of radiation treatment, but if it appears sooner than one to two weeks after treatment or lasts longer than a few days, it could be an indication of an overdose. Radiation overdose or radiation sickness can result in tissue damage, dangerously low blood pressure, significant hair loss, and other potentially debilitating symptoms such as bloody stools, skin burns and tissue damage, dizziness, hair loss, headaches, fatigue, fever, low blood pressure, nausea, and vomiting.  Serious radiation overexposure can also result in cancer and death.

If you or a loved one has suffered from radiation-related injuries, you should contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. Our highly experienced medical malpractice attorneys may be able to assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve.  We serve clients throughout Upstate New York and have offices in several convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice is reflected in the results we have obtained for our clients.

Radiation overdose can occur when the person administering the test or cancer treatment makes a mistake. The wrong dose of radiation may be provided, or radiation may be applied to the wrong area of the body requiring additional radiation. Sometimes human error occurs because of one person’s negligence, but other times it happens because of a lack of training, understaffing, or failure to follow safety policies and procedures.

Radiation overexposure, whether from cancer treatment, CT scans, or another source, is almost always the result of medical negligence. A doctor or medical professional is required by New York State law to adhere to a certain standard of care, and if it can be proven that the doctor strayed from that standard of care, they may be held liable. Medical professionals must follow the prevailing standard of care, which varies slightly from state to state but has the same underlying requirements.

The damages you may be entitled to depend upon the nature and extent of your injuries. In order to prevail on a radiology malpractice claim, we prove your injuries and that your injuries resulted from a medical error. When calculating damages in a radiation sickness claim, we consider such factors as:

  • Treatment of radiation sickness
  • Disabilities caused by an overdose of radiation
  • Anticipated future care
  • Lost wages and future earnings
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Pain and suffering

In the immediate period following high-dose radiation, you cannot have contact with loved ones because of the risk of contaminating them with radiation. You also have a higher chance of getting cancer after an overdose of radiation. Your isolation and fear for the future may also cause emotional turmoil for which you deserve compensation.

If you think you or someone you love was subjected to overexposure to x-rays which constitute medical malpractice, contact one of the medical malpractice attorneys at Poulos & Coates today to discuss your case.  DeFrancisco & Falgiatano has been handling medical malpractice cases for more than 40 years.  We represent injured clients and their families throughout Upstate New York, including Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas.  Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your case.




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