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Review of medical scans ongoing

More than 8,000 CT scans and ultrasound and x-ray images are still under review after discrepancies were found in the work of a radiologist working at Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace, B.C. - Akira Ohgaki, Flickr
More than 8,000 CT scans and ultrasound and x-ray images are still under review after discrepancies were found in the work of a radiologist working at Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace, B.C.
— image credit: Akira Ohgaki, Flickr

Vancouver radiologists continue to review more than 8,000 CT scans and ultrasound and x-ray images after discrepancies were found in the way a Mills Memorial Hospital-based radiologist interpreted some of the results.

As of last week, about 30 per cent of the accumulated images and scans had been reviewed, says Eryn Collins of the Northern Health Authority.

“Re-reading of scans related to cancer was prioritized, and have been completed,” she added. “Results will have been communicated to physicians for follow up, if required, with patients.”

The 8,400 images under review were taken of 5,278 patients from Oct. 2016 to Jan. 2017 and follows a discrepancy found by a radiologist reviewing one of the images in the course of treatment options for one patient.

That prompted a review of a week’s worth of images and scans after which Northern Health Authority officials ordered the wholesale review at the end of February.

October 2016 was chosen as the start date for the image review, as that’s when radiologist Dr. Claude Vezina moved from Timmins, Ontario to begin work at Mills Memorial.

He went on voluntary leave at the time the review was ordered and remains on leave, said Collins.

“Given that the review is underway and not complete, it would be inappropriate to speculate on the outcome with respect to either the overall results, or the radiologist, at this point,” Collins said last week.

At the time the review was ordered, senior Northern Health official Dr. Ronald Chapman said the authority was acting with “an abundance of caution.”

While it is not unusual for medical specialists to have differences of opinion, Chapman said enough significant discrepancies were found to order the review.

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