Falsified mammograms anger breast cancer patients

A staggering story of misplaced trust and ethics.

Former Ga. technician falsified mammogram reports | www.ajc.com.

The lead radiological technologist at Perry Hospital in Perry, a small community about 100 miles south of Atlanta, had for about 18 months been signing off on mammograms and spitting out reports showing nearly 1,300 women were clear of any signs of breast cancer or abnormalities.

Except that she was wrong. Holmes and nine other women were later shown to have lumps or cancerous tumors growing inside them.

The tech, Rachael Rapraeger, pleaded guilty earlier this month to 10 misdemeanor charges of reckless conduct and one felony charge of computer forgery. She was sentenced to serve up to six months in a detention center, to serve 10 years on probation during which she can’t work in the health care field and to pay a $12,500 fine.

She told police she was overwhelmed and stopped caring about her job. Assuming the ID of physicians and making for less paperwork, she gave each patient a clear reading. The hospital investigated when others brought up issues with mistaken scans. These women who had to undergo treatment are bitter about the slap on the wrist sentence for the tech. She knew what she was doing was wrong but didn’t realize the extent of it until confronted by the real diagnoses.

This appears like a lack of oversight as well. But there is no mention of the hospital being liable for not supervising the work.

  4 comments for “Falsified mammograms anger breast cancer patients

  1. Indrid Cole
    April 29, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    Now THAT is something truly scary!

  2. April 30, 2014 at 2:06 AM

    There does seem to be more to this story than reported and the fact that Rapraeger got such a “light” sentence suggests she might be taking the fall for others. I work as a medical technician myself, analysing patients’ test results and preparing reports for physicians to review and sign off – it’s hard for me to believe that the physicians Rapraeger was impersonating were unaware she was doing this for 18 months. And the fact that the DA said that “Even though Rapraeger did make statements and admissions to police, they were too general to prove specific instances of wrongdoing” screams to me she’s covering up for others. This is such a tragic case – I feel so sorry for the women who were misdiagnosed but I also feel sorry for Rapraeger.

  3. Angela
    April 30, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    I wonder if some civil lawsuits are going to come out of this from the people who received the false information. I am no legal expert, but I would think they would have grounds for something. I feel for these women–having two grandmothers that had breast cancer, it is a fear I live with every year I go to get checked. I sure as hell do not ever want to find out that a negative mammogram was bogus.

  4. Lee
    April 30, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    I would wager a guess that a LITTLE anger along with feeling overwhelmed contributed to this. You will never know precisely why without querying her. As you state this would be contingent on less paperwork. There has to be something not mentioned.

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