The Northern Health Authority has finished a review of more than 8

Northwest B.C. scan review finds ‘clinically significant’ discrepancies

The Northern Health Authority has finished a review of more than 8,400 scans taken at Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace, B.C.

More than 800 of the 8,400 patient scans done at Mills Memorial Hospital that were reviewed following discrepancies found in some of them have now resulted in a “different interpretation that is considered clinically significant,” the Northern Health Authority said in a statement today.

The original readings of the CT, ultrasound and general x-ray scans took place between October 2016 and January 2017 by radiologist Dr. Claude Vezina at Mills who went on voluntary leave when discrepancies were first discovered.

“It is very important to note that while any differences in the results had the potential to alter follow-up and/or treatment, it does not necessarily mean there are clinical concerns or adverse health impacts to the individuals affected,” the Northern Health Authority statement continued.

In the press release, the health authority states that imaging tests are not the only factor used by physicians in a patient diagnosis.

“Recognizing that the tests aid in a diagnosis, we cannot speculate or provide any information as to whether there has been any specific adverse impact for those that will require follow-up with their physician,” the statement added.

The wholesale review of the 8,400 images taken over the four-month period began when a radiologist at the end of January had a different interpretation of a scan while reviewing treatment options for a patient.

That resulted in reviewing a week’s worth of scans which uncovered more discrepancies and that lead to the decision the end of February for a review of the more than 8,400 scans taken from nearly 5,300 patients.

Cancer scans were given priority.

The start date of October 2016 was chosen because that’s when Vezina started work at Mills.

The results of the review and what might happen next are to be considered by the Northern Health Medical Advisory Committee.

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