Radiation Overdose during CT Scans Likely To Be Reduced By FDA Intervention

  • Date: November 11, 2010
  • Source: Admin
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Reports about patients’ accidental exposure to excess radiation led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigate into computed tomography (CT) brain perfusion scans. The findings reported no malfunction when CT scanners were used correctly. The probable cause for overdose was determined as improper scanner use. Nonetheless, FDA came up with a set of steps designed to improve safety procedures. The chances of overexposure to radiation could be lessened with these steps, if the CT scanners were not used in the correct manner.
The radiation doses from CT scans are much higher radiation than conventional X-rays. High doses of radiation can cause skin burns, cataracts, and in extreme cases cancer and death.
Furthermore, FDA outlined recommendations in a report of the investigation to the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance, which is a large organization for CT scanners and other radiological imaging devices manufacturers. This led to discussions to enhance CT equipment to improve the safety of patients.
The FDA wants equipment manufactures to lower the risks of excessive exposure to radiation from CT scanners by adding safety features. They also want them to educate people using the equipment. The organization is set to hold further discussions on the recommended changes with manufacturers.
The changes: Alert to operator of high radiation dose, facilities with CT equipment to be provided with information and training on brain-perfusion protocols, definition of parameters regarding dose and clear instructions on how to set parameters appropriately, and all dose related information to be organized in one section of every user manual, in one dedicated dose manual, or appropriated indexed in a comprehensive manner.
What are CT brain perfusion scans?
Computed tomography CT is a medical imaging method employing tomography created by computer processing. CT scanning of the head is typically used to detect infarction, tumors, calcifications, hemorrhage, and bone trauma. It helps experts evaluate blood flow in the brain from the cross-sectional images (or slices) of the head.
CT scans controversy
Earlier in the year, FDA was in the limelight with allegations of them ignoring evidence that CT scans could be the cause of death for many patients.
Many voiced growing concern over the safety of CT scans. Congress was urged to grant the FDA power to ensure that patients aren’t exposed to dangerously high levels of radiation.
In the wake of these mounting apprehensions, the move by the FDA to improve equipment is likely to quell fear.


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