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Reporting on hidden dangers of medical radiation

NPR, May 17, 2011
Two years ago, New York Times reporter Walt Bogdanich received a tip from a source at a major New York City hospital. The source said premature babies at the hospital were receiving much higher doses of radiation during procedures than what was typically recommended. Some premature infants were receiving full body scans, with much higher doses of radiation, when a chest X-ray—with a much lower dose of radiation—would have sufficed. Bogdanich's stories about over-radiation at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn prompted a state investigation, but problems at the hospital persisted. "The state found that the problems had continued, even after we reported them, and that's where it stands right now," Bogdanich says. "At some point, I suppose there will be some discipline imposed, but it was quite surprising to us—and to the state—that after these serious issues were laid out on the front page of The New York Times that people in the radiology department were continuing to make mistakes."

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