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Expert panel addresses safety in medical imaging
Date:12/2/2010

U.S. population radiation dose from medical procedures increased seven-fold, according to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.

"Imaging procedures conducted for the wrong reasons contribute to unnecessary costs and radiation exposure to patients," Dr. Hendee said. "Radiology is working to reduce unnecessary procedures, but some of the causes of overutilization are beyond radiology's influence."

Recent reports have drawn attention to the ionizing radiation associated with some imaging procedures, most notably CT. There is general agreement in the radiology community that certain imaging and radiation therapy procedures are associated with risks, which in each patient's case must be weighed against the benefit of the diagnostic information or treatment result one specific procedure may provide. Radiologists and medical physicists continue to work together to improve the safety of imaging exams by lowering radiation dose without sacrificing diagnostic quality. Efforts are also under way to better monitor patients' cumulative radiation exposure from multiple imaging exams over time.

To increase awareness of cumulative radiation dose and other radiation risks and to explore opportunities to improve patient safety through appropriate utilization, quality assurance and dose optimization, RSNA has partnered with the American College of Radiology (ACR), the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) to launch the Image Wisely initiative. Much like the Image Gently initiative did for pediatric radiology, Image Wisely was developed to educate imaging professionals, referring physicians and the public on the relative benefits and risks of medical imaging.

"Rising concerns about the radiation dose associated with medical imaging have prompted vigorous responses at many levels, but perhaps the most important response has been expanded educational a
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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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