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CT Manufactures to Add Safety Alert Feature for Excess Radiation


Yesterday, the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) announced a new industry-wide commitment to more expansively address patient safety in medical imaging by including new radiation dose safeguards. This commitment comes on the heals of increasing news reports of patients receiving unsafe doses of radiation while having needed medical scans and just two weeks after the Food and Drug Administration said it would begin cracking down on excessive radiation scanning.

The New York Times reported Wednesday on a Missouri hospital where 76 patients were overradiated during a five-year period.

The changes will be implemented by the five makers of CT scanners: General Electric Co., Siemens, Toshiba Corp., Royal Philips Electronics and Hitachi.

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MITA states that the new radiation dose check feature will provide an alert to operators of the CT machines when recommended radiation dose levels are exceeded. The facility will have to set a pre-determined dose threshold level (or reference dose) at which the alert will be made. The dosing checks should begin rolling out before the end of the year.

MITA and its member companies stand ready to work with professional organizations, regulatory bodies, and individual clinicians on implementing this feature and to assist in establishing these diagnostic reference dose values.

CT scans offer a quick way to get three-dimensional pictures that give an almost surgical view of the body. Doctors use them to evaluate trauma, belly pain, seizures, chronic headaches and other ailments. One CT chest scan carries as much radiation as nearly 400 chest X-rays.

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Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance Press Release