Readers of this blog know my concerns about excessive radiation dosing from CT scans, especially for children. (See Image gently, or when the diagnosis is worse than the disease.) So I’m interested in a new resolution in the US House of Representatives that calls for a reduction of radiation dosage delivered to children. From what I can tell it’s part of the Image Gently campaign.
House Resolution 1216, introduced by Representative Sue Myrick (R-NC) reads as follows:
May 27, 2008
Supporting the efforts to reduce unnecessary radiation exposure through computed tomography scans for children, and for other purposes.
Whereas medical imaging provides valuable and often life-saving medical information for patients and their families;
Whereas there is often a need to tailor techniques used in pediatric imaging to children’s smaller bodies to avoid radiation exposures that are greater than necessary;
Whereas this is especially true regarding computed tomography (CT) scans;
Whereas nationwide there are approximately 7,000,000 CT scans performed on children each year, the number may be increasing at approximately 10 percent per year, and about half of these examinations involve children under 10 years of age;
Whereas CT is the largest contributor to medical radiation dosing in the United States;
Whereas radiation can have recognized harmful effects;
Whereas children’s body tissues are more radiosensitive, and children absorb a larger dose for a given level of radiation than adults;
Whereas there are many techniques that can be used to dramatically lessen the amount of radiation to which children are exposed during CT scans, while still enabling diagnostic quality images; and
Whereas parents can help determine whether or not their imaging provider adjusts dose techniques for children by asking if their imaging facility is accredited and technologists are credentialed: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives–
(1) encourages radiologists, radiologic technologists, medical physicists, pediatricians, other pediatric health care providers, and parents to consider the different needs of children when it comes to radiation dosing;
(2) encourages appropriate used of computed tomography scans in children; and
(3) encourages radiation protection efforts in pediatric imaging so that children may be properly diagnosed and efficiently treated for injury and disease.