Probe of suspect CT scan readings hits more Fraser hospitals

New review targets radiologist at Maple Ridge, who also worked in Langley, Valley

More than 2

More than 2

A second radiologist who practised at Fraser Health hospitals – this time at Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge – is under investigation for inaccurately reading diagnostic scan results.

And because he previously worked in the Fraser Valley, the findings of nearly 2,000 additional scans are being called into question at hospitals in Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Langley.

“It is entirely possible there are serious conditions that have not been diagnosed,” said Dr. Andrew Webb, Fraser Health’s vice-president of medicine.

“We will not know until we complete the review of those scans whether or not that is the case.”

The South African-trained radiologist worked at Ridge Meadows Hospital under a provisional licence from November 2010 until March 4, when a required quarterly review turned up errors in his CT scan interpretations.

A total of 407 CT scans read by the doctor at Ridge Meadows are under review and nine out of 197 checked so far have turned up “significant discrepancies” in the interpretations.

The reading errors did not result in any of those nine patients being improperly treated, the authority said.

“For that 197, they’re all in the clear,” Webb said.

A review of the remaining 210 CT scans is underway.

And Fraser Health is also now reviewing X-rays and 184 mammograms that were also interpreted by the same radiologist at Ridge Meadows, who is not currently practising while the investigation proceeds.

Because the radiologist previously worked from November 2008 to October 2009 in the eastern Fraser Valley, another 1,933 CT scans he interpreted in that period will also be reviewed.

They include 1,158 CT scans performed at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, 679 at Chilliwack General Hospital and 96 at Langley Memorial Hospital.

As at Ridge Meadows, the radiologist could only read scans with the oversight of a supervisor and with quarterly reviews of his work.

His second quarterly review while based in Abbotsford turned up concerns in 38 of his mammography findings, Webb said.

Two “significant discrepancies” then included one missed cancer, although Webb said those patients ultimately got the right treatment.

The supervisor refused to continue to oversee the radiologist, Webb said, so he could no longer practise at Abbotsford and headed to Europe.

The radiologist got more training while in Ireland and then came back to B.C., this time to Ridge Meadows.

But his new supervisor at Ridge Meadows wasn’t told of the problems in Abbotsford or that the supervisor there stopped dealing with the radiologist.

“There does seem to be a disconnect of information,” Webb said. “The information in Abbotsford was in Abbotsford. And there was a disconnect between physicians in Abbotsford talking to physicians in Ridge Meadows.”

Fraser Health was still operating as 12 independent hospitals in 2009, Webb said, but added a new centralized information system that was set up last summer that should ensure proper information flow.

The B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons, which licenses doctors to practise in B.C., was also notified in 2009 of the concerns in Abbotsford at that time.

Webb could not say how long it will take to review the more than 1,900 scans performed in 2008 and 2009.

“It will take some time to complete,” he said. “I can’t answer how long. It depends on how many radiologists are doing the work.”

It’s the second disclosure to rock patients in Fraser Health, after the authority revealed last month it was reviewing scans read by a locum radiologist who worked at Abbotsford and Chilliwack from mid-August to mid-September last year.

Fraser’s CEO initially said cancers may have gone untreated in a few patients scanned at Abbotsford as a result.

The authority now says significant errors were found in 11 patients scanned at Abbotsford out of 170 patients whose scans were reviewed.

Webb said it does not appear the errors made any difference in the care patients ultimately received, because doctors rely not just on the results of a scan but a variety of other clinical evidence in diagnosing a patient, although one case is still under review.

Webb called the problems uncovered by the dual investigations a “huge opportunity” to improve practices.

He said a system of peer review of images will be introduced for all radiologists so a random sample of each doctor’s work is reviewed by another.

Also planned are changes to the way hospitals award privileges for radiologist.

Fraser Health says all patients affected by the medical imaging reviews are being contacted directly, but anyone with questions specific to their case can phone 604-851-4700 ext. 646617.

The Ridge Meadows doctor is the fourth radiologist in B.C. whose work has been under investigation in recent weeks. Thousands more scans are being reviewed in Comox, Powell River and Dawson Creek.

Just Posted

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

web
Mission students hold rally, say everyone welcome at school

Ecole Christine Morrison Elementary School hosted an Anti-Racism Day on June 15

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

n
Quarry Questions: Supreme Court ruling spells concern for Mission bylaws

Judge ruled that provincial permits overrule municipal bylaws relating to mining activity

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read