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National Council on Aging Releases Survey on Medical Imaging Safety
Date:2/17/2010

Survey Identifies Need for Improved Dialogue between Health Providers and Patients

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) released the results of a national survey of older adults, caregivers and health care providers evaluating knowledge and awareness of medical imaging safety.  The survey, which focused largely on electronic implantable device patients and their caregivers, reveals that communication about the safety of medical imaging for patients with these devices is often inadequate.  

"The survey clarifies that older adults with electronic implantable devices such as pacemakers need better information on the benefits and risks of medical imaging," said Stuart Spector, Senior Vice President of the NCOA. "Our aim is to highlight the results of this survey to increase awareness and facilitate a more productive dialogue between patients, caregivers and health care providers."

Editors of the New England Journal of Medicine named medical imaging as one of 11 developments that changed the face of clinical medicine during the last millennium. Medical imaging plays a critical role in early disease detection, diagnosis and treatment. Yet, despite the importance of medical imaging, the NCOA survey found that over 90 percent of physicians agreed that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is contraindicated and may be risky for patients with certain electronic implantable devices, such as pacemakers, and very few will order MRIs for these patients.

"Patients and doctors have always valued choice and safety.  Patients want their doctors to have the right imaging tools such as MRI available to them for the doctor to make the correct diagnosis," said J. Rod Gimbel, M.D., FACC, East Tennessee Heart Cons
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SOURCE National Council on Aging
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