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X-rays often repeated for patients in developing countries
Date:5/28/2008

to improve quality through quality assurance (QA) appear to be paying off. In a paper just published in the June edition of the American Journal of Roentgenology, Dr. Rehani and colleagues report that considerable benefits were seen regionally after introduction of QA programmes. The quality of X-ray images improved up to 16% in Africa, 13% in Asia and 22% in Eastern Europe. At the same time, patient dose reductions ranging from 1.4% to 85% were achieved overall.

The IAEA-supported projects could help change the picture at more hospitals in developing countries by changing the approach to quality assurance in radiography. In the past, the QA approach has been dominated by testing the radiographic equipment primarily, Dr. Rehani points out.

"Our work shows that focusing on the machine is not enough," he says. "Were documenting that the evaluation of image quality and patient dose goes hand in hand with safe and effective medical radiography."

Background

The project on strengthening radiological protection of patients is designed to help countries apply the International Basic Safety Standards for the Protection Against Ionizing Radiation and for the Safety of Radiation Sources (BSS), developed by the IAEA, World Health Organization and other partners. The standards require attention to image quality by considering corrective actions if such exposures do not provide useful diagnostic information and do not yield medical benefits to patients.

Despite the finding that repeat X-ray examinations were often needed, patient doses in the 12 countries surveyed were in line with international diagnostic reference levels and similar to doses recorded in developed countries. Thousands of X-ray images were evaluated as part of the survey. (Worldwide each year, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) estimates that nearly two billion (2000 million) medical X-rays are done, in its rep
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Contact: Press Office
press@iaea.org
43-126-002-1273
International Atomic Energy Agency
Source:Eurekalert

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