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October 04, 2012 11:41 AM

SD Hospital Being Fined For Radiation Mishap

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission plans to fine a Sioux Falls hospital $11,200 for incidents in which a breast cancer patient suffered skin burns during treatment.

The commission says the incident at Avera McKennan Hospital involved brachytherapy, which irradiates cancerous tumors inside the body. The agency says the patient's skin was exposed directly to radiation twice in January because of a computer programming error.

Avera McKennan issued a statement Thursday saying it took the incidents seriously and cooperated with the NRC. The hospital says the patient is doing well, and that it has taken steps to ensure a similar incident doesn't happen in the future.

The NRC says Avera McKennan has taken steps that provide "reasonable assurance" that such an incident will not reoccur.

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