Whitney Palmer

Healthcare. Politics. Family.

Taking Steps to Improve Radiation Safety

Published on DiagnosticImaging.com on March 14, 2011

By Whitney L.J. Howell

Radiology currently has two buzzwords: safety and low dose. And, it’s a trend that’s been growing for the past five years.

Throughout the industry, radiologists and referring physicians are using a number of strategies to limit patient exposure to unneeded radiation. New programs, equipment, and contrast agents are being used together to drastically reduce the amount of radiation patients receive.

Safety and low-dose vigilance really kicked into high gear when the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation VII report came out in 2005. Media reports over the perceived dangers of radiation exposure prompted calls for measures that would protect patients, with the two main worries being accidental over-irradiation due to CT scan protocol errors and potential cancer risks associated with radiation.

The pendulum is now swinging toward limiting doses whenever possible. Through its Image Wisely and Image Gently campaigns, the American College of Radiology (ACR) and its partners have provided guidance and encouragement for reducing the amount of radiation used with both adults and children, respectively.

“The specialty is taking steps to improve safety. When it comes to doses, it’s all about ALARA — as low as reasonably achievable,” said James Thrall, MD, ACR President and Massachusetts General Hospital radiologist-in-chief. “The good news is that there are a tremendous number of technical innovations and clinical practices that are rapidly reducing exposure from CT scanning.”

To read the remainder of the article: http://bit.ly/haWvdn




March 17, 2011 - Posted by | Healthcare, Science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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