CUH says scan check began around four weeks ago

RTÉ News has learned that Cork University Hospital has cleared a backlog of 2,466 unread plain film scans, which arose due to staffing issues around four weeks ago.

Following a further query from RTÉ News, the CUH clarified that its check on the backlog of scans began aroundfour weeks ago and not around the summeras was originally stated - writes

After the review of the scans, 14 patients were recalled, but there were no cases of adverse outcomes, according to the hospital.

Some of the recalls were because the original scans were unclear or unreadable.Plain film scans are x-rays but not CT, MRI scans or ultrasound images.

Cork University Hospital is in the same hospital group as University Hospital Kerry, which is at the centre of the ongoing controversy over 46,300 radiology scans to be reviewed .

In an earlier statement to RTÉ News, the South/South West Hospital Group said the radiology department at Cork University Hospital experienced one episode of protracted and unexpected sick leave.

The group also said one additional radiologist was in part deployed to a national role as the Dean of the Faculty of Radiology, which coincided with the peak holiday period.

Replacement locum cover was approved by the hospital, but no suitable locum was found following an advertisement.

"This left an unmet number of 2,466 plain film scans out of an annual total of 166,000 images annually, approx 1.5%", the hospital said.

The team of radiologists was engaged and paid to clear the unread scans and the hospital said this work was now complete.

Of these scans, 14 patients were scheduled for follow-up scans.

The hospital said this would be in keeping with normal practice, as scans may not be sufficiently definitive.

It said the CUH Quality & Safety Office continues to monitor the situation.

Cork Hospital says it was a well managed situation, given the unforeseen staffing issue.

Read  also more Irish news of Dublin here.
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