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Cardio Groups advocate Action Plan for Radiation Safety of the Patients

radiation safety


The physicians from the Duke University Clinical Research Institute, the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American heart Association came together on February 28, 2011 to devise an action plan for radiation safety of the patients undergoing various imaging techniques as part of their diagnosis and treatment.
Although the level of exposure during these techniques is very low and there is no strong evidence to prove that it could lead to any medical complications, there is some degree of uncertainty about its long term implications. This is because, the amount of radiations absorbed by the body do not depend up on any one particular factor. Rather, it is an assortment of factors like the design of the machine, the techniques used for scanning as well as the area of the body exposed to the radiation. As there is no uniformity in this, therefore, it is difficult to measure the amount of exposure in various procedures.
One cannot do away with these techniques as they form an intrinsic part of the cardiovascular care. However, according to Dr. Pamela Douglas, from the Duke University Medical Center, and the chairperson of the steering committee, the aim of the physicians should be an appropriate use of radiation exposure. The committee reached consensus on various points, which include:
Careful selection of the patients and avoidance of inappropriate testing and procedures.
Patient safety to be enhanced by sticking to the “As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) principle.
Development of low dose radiation equipment and complementary technology.
Large application of proven dose reduction techniques.
Attention to be paid to optimize patient care and not just focus on technical information.
Appropriate collaboration between the diverse agencies involved in imaging techniques, including, research scientists, physicians, patients, funding agencies, etc.
Educating the healthcare providers who order the tests and carry out the procedures.
Educating the patients in a manner that it makes them aware about the dangers of exposure without creating unnecessary panic. 
The report of the committee has been published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, and the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology.
Saturday, October 1, 2011

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