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2 people dead, 8 misdiagnosed after tech whimsically ignored mammograms

PERRY, Georgia (CNN) — Prosecutors say 10 women with cancer were told their mammograms were clean, after a former radiology technician filed inaccurate mammogram results at a Georgia hospital.

And now the woman accused of lying about those results, is headed to spend the next several months in prison.

Rachel Rapraeger, age 33,  accepted a plea deal in court in Perry, Georgia Tuesday. She pleaded guilty to 10 counts of reckless conduct and a charge of computer forgery.

CBS news reported that prosecutors said 10 of the results were actually positive, and two of the patients died. It’s unclear if the patients died of cancer-related complications.

Rapraeger sat in front of Judge Katherine Lumsden and several women who Rapraeger told had negative mammogram readings, when in fact a doctor never read the results.

Prosecutors said Raprager entered nearly 1,300 negative mammogram results at Perry Hospital between Jan. 22, 2009 and April 1, 2010 that hadn’t been reviewed by a radiologist.

Rapraeger gave Sharon Holmes a false reading in December 2009, two months later Holmes found out she had breast cancer and it had spread into her lymphnodes.

Rapraeger’s attorney says she was overworked and overwhelmed. He said she wasn’t supervised like should have been and she says a hospital employee gave her radiologist’s pin numbers.

She just could not keep up with her workload and when faced with that, then she doing what she did, not to make any money but to try to make her hospital employer happy, not realizing what the consequences could be.

Rapraeger plead guilty to ten counts of reckless conduct and one count of computer forgery.

Lumsden sentenced her to twelve months’ probation for each of the ten counts of reckless conduct — and ten years to serve up to 160 days in a state detention center.

“I think it’s a fair sentence based on what happened and based on her cooperation in this case,” said Daniel Bibler, the deputy chief assistant district attorney.

“She’s going to be paying a price but even without that, she’s very remorseful,” Floyd Buford, Defense Attorney, said.

But Holmes isn’t satisfied with Rapraeger’s punishment.

“If I’m sentenced living a sentence, of having cancer, then you should live a sentence also behind bars,” Holmes said.

She says it took courage to face Rapraeger for the first time, but she wanted her to know:

“I’m not a name on a piece of paper, I’m a person and I think she will remember me.”

Holmes calls herself a survivor, and has been in remission for three years.

3 comments

  • Toxic Aveger

    This country needs to start executing people like this as well as those guilty of malpractice.

  • shirley

    these women have CANCER that may or may not be curable since it was left for years and nothing done about it, it has continued to grow and spread.
    And the woman is going to get less then a year when thousands of women could be facing a death sentence cause their CANCER was not caught in time to do treatments on.
    I for one believe this woman and her superiors should all be behind bars for a life sentence, the women with CANCER are people with names, families, jobs, lives, why does the people in the medical field get a slap on the wrist and the thousand of women get to tell their loved ones that they may died because their tests were never read?

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