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ESR launches dose reduction campaign (reported on EHI)

23rd October 2013

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The European Society of Radiology has set out plans to reduce inappropriate exposure to radiation that include the greater use of computerised dose monitoring and dose repositories.

A statement on the Insights into Imaging website sets out the plan of action for improving protection for both patients and staff against excessive doses of radiation.

It says there has been “a trend of an increasing inappropriate medical exposure to ionising radiation” and that there are “vast variations in patient doses for the same radiological examination.”

In response, it wants to see what it describes as a GPS approach to the problem; where GPS stands for Globalisation, Personalisation and Safety.

A global approach involves all stakeholders and is necessary, it says, because “the different components of radiation protection are often interrelated and cannot be considered in isolation and independently.”

Personalised, patient-centric medicine requires an understanding of the different requirements in different settings (such as hospital and general practice) and a consideration of the different risks for “children, aged persons, persons with chronic and oncological disease, and those with genetic variations increasing radiosensitivity.”

Of the third element, safety, the ESR statement says: “Radiation protection is an important pillar of the safety culture in radiology.”

It adds that “technology holds the key to developments in patient and staff radiation safety and thus developing and utilising dose management tools has the greatest potential.”

The ESR “wishes to promote establishment of dose repositories to support dose management and clinical audit to document improvement.”

Professor Jan Casselman, chairman of the radiological department at St John’s Hospital in Bruges, said that the need to monitor dosage needed to be taken seriously, given the increasing use of CT scanners in particular.

“We have to think of a lifetime dose,” he said. “No longer is it one visit to a hospital, it’s an accumulation, and the chance of negative effects is that the total accumulated dose one day gets too high.” Doctors and radiologists have an “ethical duty,” he said, not to carry out unnecessary x-rays.

In Belgium, government regulations require hospitals to provide information about the amount of dosage they’re using.

HSS DoseMonitor is now available, as a fully integrated software application that automates dose data collection and reporting and identifies patients who may be at risk for ionizing radiation overexposure.  Click here to find out more.

For the full story please visit the EHI website.