Protection of patients undergoing frequent medical imaging

Posted on: 2020-12-04

How to improve the protection of patients undergoing frequent medical imaging? A virtual meeting held by the IAEA discussed the progress made to reduce radiation risk and maintain the benefits for patients who frequently do medical imaging. They covered the impact and concrete actions needed to strengthen patient protection guidelines and technological solutions to monitor patient exposure history.

It’s known that over 4 billion diagnostic radiological and nuclear medicine procedures are performed each year globally. Their benefits are far outweighing radiation risks when they are performed only as clinically justified, using the minimum necessary exposure to the diagnostic.

 We need to track the patients’ radiation exposure

How do we do that? Accurate and regular recording, reporting, and analyzing patient radiation doses in medical centers can help enhance dose management without the loss of diagnostic information. Those acts prevent unnecessary exposures.

We know the probability of long-term radiation effects with effective doses measured in millisieverts (mSv), and that’s the primary risk of developing cancer from exposure. 

A long way to go

Latin Safe and other initiatives fight for radiological protection because we have to do what’s best for patients. In the IAEA discussion, participants concluded the need for effective and enhanced guidance for long-term illnesses and conditions requiring frequent imaging. They agreed that the best results would appear if the track of radiation exposure is utilized broadly and integrated with other healthcare information systems for the best results.

We have to remember that machines and better systems by themselves are not enough. We – radiologists, physicians, medical physicists, and technicians – have to take responsibility.

Read the full article here: IAEA.

"Promote through education safe diagnostic imaging in Latin America with emphasis on radiological protection"

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