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Symposium focuses on patient safety in CT scanning
Date:5/13/2010

ATLANTA, GA (May 13, 2010) -- A national summit of medical professionals meeting last month in Atlanta called for the creation of consensus scan techniques as a way of addressing the concerns of patients undergoing CT scans -- a common medical imaging procedure that uses X-rays to show cross-sectional images of the body.

The summit brought together some of the world's leading experts in CT imaging, including medical physicists, radiologists, technologists, and equipment manufacturers. It was hosted by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), a professional organization whose members include board-certified health professionals and research scientists specializing in the use of radiation in medicine.

According to Cynthia McCollough, Ph.D., Professor of Radiologic Physics at the Mayo Clinic, who co-organized the meeting on behalf of AAPM, the summit achieved its goal of identifying several issues that need to be dealt with by the medical imaging community in order to address the safety concerns of patients at U.S. hospitals and clinics.

In the last several months, many medical physicists have witnessed first-hand how some patients have grown concerned about stories in the media questioning the risks and challenging the safety of CT scans.

"We all hear it every day. Patients ask, 'do I really need to have this procedure?'," said Dianna Cody, Ph.D., another co-organizer of the meeting. Cody, who is Professor of Imaging Physics at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, says that patients should not be afraid of getting medically appropriate CT exams. "When medically justified," she said, "the benefits of CT scans far outweigh the risks."

Even so, patients' fears are very real. The CT Dose Summit arose partly as a response to these fears, as leaders within the AAPM CT community discussed what more professionals in their field could do to ensure patient safety and to reassure patients coming
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Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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