Radiation Dose in CT Exams - RIA's Commitment

Posted on: 03/01/2010

Dear Patients and Parents:

This bulletin is provided to ease your mind about the safety and appropriate use of CT scan procedures in the RIA facilities.  With all the media attention recently focused on incidents of overexposure to patients having CT brain perfusion scans at hospital institutions in California and Alabama, and the new study released this week that warns of potentially harmful effects of the increasing number of CT scans performed in the U.S., we thought you would want to know more about the scanners and radiation safety policies in use at RIA facilities.

As recommended by the FDA after announcement of the over-exposure incidents, RIA has reviewed its policies and verified that its CT scanners are functioning per specification of the manufacturer and in accordance with professional best practices.  In short, our technologists and radiologists are trained and credentialed in the proper use of this equipment, and the equipment was purchased with technological features that specifically control dose and keep exposure levels within recommended values to provide diagnostic image quality.  RIA’s scanners employ auto dose control (Intellibeam Technology and Smart MA) that measures patient body composition and minimizes the exposure for optimal imaging of the specific body part and exam.  Scanning protocols specifically designed for pediatric patients are also utilized to prevent undue exposure to the patients that are most susceptible to effects of radiation.  The Image Gently program of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging has great information for parents on the “Step Lightly” efforts to protect children -

In our facilities, CT equipment is state-of-the-art and is maintained, operated and regulated to ensure safety.   We survey equipment performance routinely to ensure proper operating conditions, and radiation physicists perform independent evaluations of all operating parameters.  Licensed and credentialed technologists operate these specialized scanners and our on-site radiologists and policies and procedures control appropriate utilization.  In line with our commitment to ensure and demonstrate program quality, RIA participates with the voluntary CT quality assurance program of the American College of Radiology (ACR).  Our ACR accreditation is another sign of the care we provide to safety and quality.

RIA is committed to the goal of keeping radiation exposure as low as reasonably achievable.   Certainly you should talk with your doctor about the necessity for radiological testing to ensure that you understand the expected benefits.  Together, we can work to avoid unnecessary testing. When testing is needed, be assured that RIA does attempt to keep exposure to a minimum.
Joseph P. Finizio, M.D.
Medical Director

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