Radiation Patients Endanger Public, Congressman Says
Markey's letter details a Subcommittee on Energy and Environment survey of 1,080 thyroid cancer survivors, 781 of whom were treated as outpatients since 1997, in order to determine how they were educated and cared for post treatment. The survey revealed:
• Only 27% of those responding were treated as inpatients and therefore were allowed to stay overnight in a hospital or other medical facility. Insurance companies denied requests for inpatient stays for 10.4% of treatments after 1997.
• More than 93% of patients treated with I-131 were given a choice on whether to have their treatment on an outpatient or inpatient basis.
• More than 89% of those responding said they were treated with I-131 doses higher than 33 millicuries, which would have required inpatient stays before the 1997 regulation change for most of these patients.
• 52 patients who received 67 treatments with I-131 in 1997 in 28 states left the hospital to go directly to a hotel, motel, inn or similar facility.
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