Canadian authorities review 70,000 cases after rad is suspended

By Kate Madden Yee, staff writer

June 11, 2009 -- Canadian health authorities are reviewing 70,000 imaging exams after discovering irregularities in the work of the radiologist who initially interpreted them.

The irregularities were discovered during a routine review of the work of Dr. Darius Tsatsi, one of three radiologists at the Yorkton Regional Health Centre in Saskatchewan. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan found enough difference in opinion regarding Tsatsi's interpretation of 103 diagnostic cases that it expressed its concerns to the Sunrise Health Region, which oversees Yorkton.

The review examined cases Tsatsi read from May 28 to November 14, 2008. Not all of the exams Tsatsi read were of concern, and during an onsite visit, the college found the quality of the imaging equipment and the work of staff to be sound. The health system suspended Tsatsi from practicing on May 14.

Tsatsi was trained in South Africa and has been in medical practice for 26 years, half of which were spent in diagnostic radiology, according to

But now Sunrise Health Region and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health plan to review all of Tsatsi's work during his employment in the province since 2004, with radiologists from the region and across Canada rereading approximately 70,000 x-ray, CT, mammography, and ultrasound exams. Patients who have been to the center within the past five years have been encouraged to call Sunrise at 877-854-4424 to determine whether their tests will be reviewed.

"The Health Region has indicated that it was prompted to take this unprecedented patient safety measure as a consequence of concerns about Dr. Tsatsi's professional performance, raised to their concern by the College," the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan said in a statement.

Sunrise Health Region plans to make the review process as transparent as possible.

"We are committed to patient safety, openness, and full transparency throughout this look-back process," Karen Hill, communications and media relations officer for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, told

"At this time, we are determining the radiology capacity within Saskatchewan as well as out-of-province, contacting professionals in western Canada," she said. "Rereading 70,000 scans is a considerable undertaking and although we cannot yet predict the time it will take, we are moving as quickly as possible to best serve the Saskatchewan patients who are affected."

On June 1, a proposed class-action lawsuit was filed in Regina's Court of Queen's Bench on behalf of a Yorkton woman. The suit seeks compensation from the Saskatchewan government, three regional health authorities, and Tsatsi, according to If the court grants class action status, hundreds of other people could join the lawsuit.

By Kate Madden Yee staff writer
June 11, 2009

Web site solicits patients for cases of radiology errors, May 27, 2008

Simple tracking program, case review scale back resident misreads, November 30, 2006

Copyright © 2009


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