The rate of CT scans over the last 35 years has increased over 166 percent!
We’ve gone from 3 million CT scans performed in 1980 to 80 million scans being performed in 2015. There are multiple reasons for this rate of increase: growth in population, ageing of baby boomers, and advancements in radiology. This also means is that more people are being exposed to radiation than ever before.
Radiation risks comes in two forms.
- Deterministic; Directly related to exposure and exceeding the safety threshold. This kind of radiation results in skin irritation, burns, cataracts, etc.
- Stochastic; Usually pertaining to cancer and occurs by chance.
There are no dose threshold risk increases as dose increases. Radiation from cancer, for example, can have a 10-20 year latent period which makes it difficult to determine cause. One thing is for certain–the more frequent a patient receives radiation the greater the risk.
Radiation technology gives vital amounts of diagnostic information. This has resulted in much more effective therapies for cancer, heart disease, etc.
However, as professionals in the radiology field, we should be cautious and almost hyper-aware of how we use it. All of your protocols should be designed with radiation dose monitoring in mind.
Dose monitoring is driven by technological advancement, increasing compliance obligations for healthcare professionals. However, lack of funding, understanding by professionals, and lack of skilled professionals is creating a serious roadblock.
There are now dose monitoring systems out there that provide efficient assistance in this endeavor. There are automated dose monitoring programs that track patient dose exposure and link it straight to the report, not only allowing you to track the dose for that study but to track and record all patients studies maintaining dose tracking throughout a patient’s lifetime.
For more information go to: https://www.novarad.net/novadose/