Medical imaging tests expose patients to dangerous amounts of unnecessary radiation
(NaturalNews) A University of Wisconsin (UW) study has found that patients who receive computed tomography (CT) scans for various abdominal and pelvic conditions often receive a slew of additional scans that are unnecessary and that expose them to excess radiation. The findings were presented at the meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
A typical CT scan involves taking images of the patient using an intravenous injection of an imaging chemical in order to contrast the image. Occasionally it is helpful to take more than one image, but many times doctors will order multiple images unnecessarily.
In many cases, doctors are not being careful to assess the doses of radiation they are administering to patients. Though they are supposed to take certain measures to accurately ensure that the radiation dosages are as minimal as possible while still achieving successful scans, Kristie Guite, M.D., of UW emphasized that many doctors do not follow this principle.
Study coauthor J. Louis Hinshaw, M.D., backed up this point by explaining that CT protocols are meant to be custom-tailored to a patient’s specific condition. In a great majority of cases, a one-size-fits-all approach is taken that puts the patient at increased risk.
Dr. Hinshaw suggests that patients who are prescribed CT scans should ask their doctors about the risks involved. They should also find out from the CT facility how many image exposures will need to be taken and if a lesser amount would suffice for their particular conditions.