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

iation doses, better dose management and, most importantly, greater awareness on the part of the patient and of the doctor prescribing the examinations.

"A major concern at the moment is the growth in the number of CT scans being done around the world, especially in the developed countries," says Robert George, President of the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists (ISRRT). "The results and the benefits are so good that there's a tendency to overuse the technology."

This means that strict guidelines need to be developed so that referring doctors carefully weigh the benefits against the potential risks and base their decisions on medically relevant data, bearing in mind the cumulative effects of multiple CT scans.

Scanning times today are much shorter, taking little more than a minute compared to as much as 15 minutes a few years ago. According to IAEA radiation safety specialists, some health professionals believe therefore that patients are receiving lower doses of radiation. But that's not the case. Today's sophisticated imaging devices deliver more precise information in a shorter period of time but they deliver the same amount of radiation as before, or even more.

Patients, too, should be encouraged to become better informed about why a radiological examination is being performed. Does it involve ionizing radiation? If so, has the procedure been justified adequately after considering other examination options that utilize non-ionizing radiation? This is all the more important in the case of CT scans or when an examination is to be repeated. However, according to experts such as Christian Herold, Chairman, Department of Radiology, Medical University of Vienna and currently President of the European Society of Radiology, care should be taken that this does not result in a patient refusing a duly justified examination.

Reducing the Dose

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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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