FDA Notifies Health Officials of Radiation Dangers

ROCKVILLE, Md-Officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have released a health notification concerning reducing radiation risks form computed tomography (CT) scans for young patients and small adults.

Keeping radiation levels as low as possible during these scans is necessary especially for children because they may be more prone to develop cancer if they are exposed. While the individual risk of cancer is minute in comparison to the potential benefit of the scan, healthcare workers should still keep several recommendations in mind:

@bullet:Optimize CT settings

@bullet:Reduce tube current

@bullet:Develop and use a chart or table of tube-current settings based on patient weight or diameter and anatomical region of interest.

@bullet:Increase table increment (axial scanning) or pitch (helical scanning). If the pitch is increased, the amount of radiation needed to cover the anatomical area of interest is decreased.

@bullet:Reduce the number of multiple scans with contrast material.

@bullet:Eliminate inappropriate referrals for CT.

@body:Also, FDA officials urge healthcare workers to report CT scan equipment errors to both the manufacturer and to MedWatch-the agency's voluntary reporting program. More information about MedWatch is available at: www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch.

Marian Kroen with the Office of Surveillance and Biometrics can also provide more information about the recommendations. She can be contacted at: 301-594-2968 or phann@cdrh.fda.gov.

Information from the US Food and Drug Administration