Georgia medical technician Rachael Rapraeger, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to falsifying mammogram results, has been sentenced to serve up to six months in a detention center, 10 years of probation, and pay a $12,500 fine.
Rapraeger pleaded guilty to 10 misdemeanor charges of reckless conduct and one felony charge of computer forgery related to cases where she falsified mammogram reports, showing there were no problems, but then those patients later showed lumps or cancerous tumors.
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According to The Associated Press, Rapraeger
told police she had personal issues that caused her to stop caring about her job and that she had fallen behind in processing the growing number of mammogram films. She reportedly went into the hospital's computer system, assumed the identities of physicians, and gave each patient a clear reading.
Floyd Buford, Rapraeger’s lawyer, said that allowed her to avoid the time-consuming paperwork required before the films are brought to a reading room for radiologists to examine.
The falsified reports were discovered in April 2010 after a patient who'd received a negative result had another mammogram performed at another hospital three months later, which showed she had breast cancer. As hospital staff began to investigate, it was determined that the doctor whose name was on the faulty report had not been at the hospital the day the report was filed.
According to an investigator’s report, Rapraeger quickly confessed to her supervisor that she was responsible and was fired from her job about a week later.
Rapraeger reportedly told police she knew what she was doing wasn't right, but that she didn't take the consequences into consideration until she realized a patient with cancer had been told her mammogram was clear.
Sara Bailey, 80, was one of the women who received a false-negative mammogram report as a result of Rapraeger’s negligence and ended up having to have her entire breast, instead of just a lump, removed. She said she believed Rapraeger’s sentence was merely a “slap on the wrist.”
"I'm not hurting and I don't think I have cancer, but I'm not a woman anymore," Bailey told The Associated Press.
Sharon Holmes, 49, is another of the 10 women who received a false-negative mammogram and wishes Rapraeger would have expressed more remorse at her sentencing.
“If she had gotten up and at least said, 'I'm sorry for what I did. I'm sorry these women had to go through this,' that, to me, would have meant that she was truly sorry for what we went through," Holmes told the AP.
Rapraeger didn’t return a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment. Her attorney said she is remorseful for the pain she has caused.
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