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Radiation exposure and the justification of computed tomography scanning in an Australian hospital emergency department

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Abstract

In an emergency department (ED), computed tomography (CT) is particularly beneficial in the investigation of high-speed trauma patients. With the advent of multidetector CT (MDCT) scanners, it is becoming faster and easier to conduct scans. In recent years, this has become evident with an increasing number of CT requests. Patients who have multiple CT scans during their hospital stay can receive radiation doses that have an increased theoretical risk of induction of cancer. It is essential that the clinical justification for each CT scan be considered on an individual basis and that due consideration is given to the radiation risk and possible diagnostic benefit. The current lack of a central State or Commonwealth data repository for medical images is a contributing factor to excessive radiation dosage to the population. The principles of justification and radiation risks are discussed in this study.
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Keywords: justification; lifetime risk; multidetector CT; radiation exposure

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Radiology Department and 2: Nuclear Medicine, The Alfred Hospital and

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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