March 30, 2012 by staff
Quebec Mammogram, A review of thousands of mammograms flagged in late 2010 for possible errors has detected 109 breast cancers missed by a radiologist or one of his clinicians, Quebec’s College of Physicians says. The college ordered a review of 22,040 breast cancer screening tests conducted between October 2008 and October 2010, after a random quality control review in 2010 turned up problems with test interpretations.
Ninety-six of the 109 problem cases were missed by now-retired radiologist Raymond Bergeron; the remaining cases by colleagues at one of the three clinics that Bergeron ran – Radiologie Jean-Talon Bélanger and Radiologie Domus Médica in Montreal, and Radiologie Fabreville in Laval.
College spokesman Dr. Yves Robert suggested the elderly radiologist was simply overworked. “Probably he had a very high pressure to read a high level of films in a short period of time,” Robert said. “It seems he had difficulty recruiting colleagues to help him do the job, so probably he was just overload[ed.] And this is the kind of situation that is at risk of making mistakes.”
Bergeron, who is in his mid-70s, stopped practising medicine on Oct. 9, 2010.
The college’s review included about 500 CT scans and resulted in a callback of 158 patients for a repeat of their scans. An official said the scans were done on such old equipment they were essentially useless.
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