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IAEA calls for enhanced radiation protection of patients
Date:4/29/2009

ple, organs or blood vessels and represents unparalleled advances in terms of clarity of image, ease of application and patient friendliness. For this reason there is a growing tendency for more and more CT examinations to be carried out. But published reports in medical literature, for example the November 2007 New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that up to 50 per cent of all scans done today are questionable on the grounds of medical justification.

Strengthening Patient Protection

The IAEA is one of the key international players in the field of patient radiation protection. A unit dedicated to the Radiological Protection of Patients (RPoP) was established in 2001.

"Our objective is that the radiation protection of patients is given increased attention by health professionals, manufacturers, trainers and policy makers," says IAEA Radiation Safety Specialist Madan Rehani. "We're attacking the issue from every angle and interest in the field is growing. The RPoP website, which offers information for health professionals and to some extent for patients, is receiving about half a million hits a month."

Currently radiation safety experts are working together with manufacturers and IT specialists to develop a Smart Card designed to register how much radiation a person receives in the course of a lifetime. This is a very ambitious plan but the development of X-ray machines that provide the radiation dose delivered in different examinations, as well as advances in electronic medical record systems, should eventually allow for this data to be included in medical records and on the electronic health cards already carried by people in many of the world's developed countries.

A meeting to launch the radiation Smart Card scheme is being held in Vienna from 27-29 April, 2009, when it is hoped that much of the framework for the project will be decided and initiated.

The IAEA's activities in ra
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Contact: IAEA Press Office
press@iaea.org
43-126-002-1273
International Atomic Energy Agency
Source:Eurekalert

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