WebMD has an eye-opening story about more children getting CT scans when they go to the ER, and some doctors are concerned they are being exposed to too much radiation.
“We found that abdominal CT imaging went from almost never being used in 1995 to being used in 15% to 21% of visits in the last four years of [our] study,” Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati researcher David B. Larson, MD, MBA, says in a news release.
“From 1995 to 2008, Larson and colleagues found a fivefold increase in the percentage of emergency department visits in which children received a CT scan. Nearly 90% of these scans were done in ERs that did not specialize in pediatrics.”
” ‘The performance of CT in children requires special oversight,’ Larson and colleagues note in the June issue of Radiology. ‘It is possible that non-pediatric-focused radiology departments may be less likely to consistently tailor the CT technique to the body size of the pediatric patient.’
Children are far more vulnerable to radiation than adults. Here’s why according to the article:
- “Children’s organs are more sensitive to radiation than adults’ organs.
- Children have a longer life expectancy than adults, giving cancer a longer time to form.
- Radiation settings often may not be set to match children’s body size.
- Because CT use is increasing, children may eventually receive a higher lifetime dose of medical radiation.”
The most common CT scans for kids were head injury, headache and abdominal pain.
Has your child ever had a CT scan? Did they bring in anybody special to do it or use special equipment just for kids? How many have your kids had? Does this concern you about getting CT scans in the future?
Do you worry about the dental X-rays? None of my kids have had CT scans but they have had dental X-rays. I wonder if we should be concerned about those puppies? Hmmm.