As the use of digital X-ray on pediatric patients grows, the ACR's Image Gently campaign “Back to Basics” initiative is moving forward in getting practical resources on minimizing radiation exposure in pediatric patients into the hands of providers. This week it announced new online teaching materials, checklists and practice quality improvement projects to help radiologists and their staff strengthen radiation protection when performing X-ray examinations on children.
At least 10 million X-rays were performed on children in 2010. Children are more sensitive to radiation received from imaging scans than adults, and cumulative exposure to their smaller, developing bodies could, over time, have adverse effects.
The Image Gently campaign is conducted by the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, and it emphasizes a standardized approach to measuring patient body size and developing technique charts.
When X- Ray is the right thing to do, imaging providers are urged to:
1. Measure patient thickness for “child-size” technique
2. Avoid using grids for body parts less than 10-12 cm thick
3. X-ray only the indicated area with proper collimation and shielding
4. Check exposure indicators and image quality
The ACR is urging physicians, medical physicists and radiologic technologists to visit imagegently.org and factor the information into their clinical decision making.
In related news, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) has also posted new Computed Tomography (CT) Radiation Dose Education Slides Power Point slides to help with dose reduction in adult patients.