Whitney Palmer

Healthcare. Politics. Family.

Smaller Hospitals Reach CT Dose Reduction Through Education, Collaboration

Published on the Aug. 26, 2011, DiagnosticImaging.com Website

By Whitney L.J. Howell

Smaller hospitals might worry they don’t have enough staff or time to effectively reduce CT dose exposure for patients, but one hospital’s success proves it can be done.

By changing protocols for CT angiographic imaging, Gundersen Lutheran Health System, a physician-led, La Crosse, Wis.-based health system serving 19 counties, endeavored to reduce dose exposure after purchasing a dual-source CT system in 2006. Rather than use a generic protocol for all patients receiving CT angiographic imaging, radiologists and technicians determined proper dosage based on patients’ body mass index. The result: a 29 percent drop in dose exposure.

This accomplishment prompted radiologists to apply reduction efforts to all protocols.

“Expanding the dose reduction plan fit with our overall strategy at Gundersen Lutheran to provide the highest quality services and protect patient safety,” said Mary Ellen Jafari, Gundersen’s radiation safety officer and medical radiation physicist. “The program fit nicely into the organization’s goals, and we had a lot of administrative support to make this happen.”

To read the remainder of the article online: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/low-dose/content/article/113619/1936917

August 26, 2011 Posted by | Healthcare | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reducing Tube Current to Manage CT Radiation Dose

Published on the Aug. 8, 2011, DiagnosticImaging.com Web site

By Whitney L.J. Howell

Using lower fixed-tube current or automatic exposure control techniques when performing adult and pediatric head CT scans can reduce radiation dose and ease concern about cancer risk, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Head CTs account for 28 percent of all CT scans performed annually nationwide, but there is still a lack of data about the long-term effects of the radiation associated with them. This uncertainty makes it your responsibility to limit the amount of radiation you use to only what is absolutely necessary, said Mahadevappa Mahesh, PhD, associate professor of radiology and cardiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

“Across the board, there’s no uniform protocol for head CTs or perfusion head CTs,” said Mahesh, the study’s lead author. “Controlling tube current is the most straight forward way to manage radiation because it has a linear relationship with the amount of radiation you use.”

For example, previous research from the American Journal of Neuroradiology found a radiation dose reduction of 47 percent accompanied a 50 percent cut in tube current. Image quality at this dosage is relatively unchanged.

To read the remainder of the article: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/low-dose/content/article/113619/1923193

August 8, 2011 Posted by | Healthcare | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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