Patients Rising Now sent a letter to the Office of the Inspector General department that oversees the Department of Health and Human Services. As part of our commitment to patient access, affordability, and safety, we are members of the Patients for Safer Nuclear Medicine Coalition. In the letter, we sought to bring attention to a very prevalent issue in nuclear medicine: extravasations.
Extravasations occur when nuclear material is injected into healthy tissue instead of the intended area as part of a nuclear scan. These occurrences are medical errors. However, there is currently no requirement for practitioners to report extravasations to anyone, least of all the affected patients. Nuclear scans are very common in America, with over 19 million taking place every year. It is estimated that an extravasation happens every minute.
The negative consequences of extravasations can take years to manifest. Patients should be notified immediately so that proper countermeasures can be taken. Sadly, there is no such requirement. The letter we sent called for increased oversight and reporting requirements so that patients can be properly protected going forward.
Be sure to give the letter a read!