State inspectors found that the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center is administering unnecessary X-rays to premature babies. The hospital was first cited for the unhealthy practice in 2007. But last month, state inspectors found 27 new instances of infants irradiated beyond the chest area without proper shielding. Some premature infants were over-radiated multiple times.
“We were disappointed to find so many X-rays in our sampling that did not have adequate shielding to protect infants from being exposed to excess radiation,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav R. Shah, who worked on the investigation. “Additional training and monitoring must be put into place to rectify this situation.” The state is not looking to fine the hospital. “We just want compliance,” said Claudia Hutton, a spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Health. “This is not a revenue stream for us.”