Initiative Fosters Adherence to Pediatric Imaging Guidelines

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The Image Gently® campaign for dose reduction in pediatric imaging and the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) have launched a “Go With the Guidelines” initiative to encourage community hospitals, academic hospitals, and clinics to observe new North American Guidelines for Nuclear Medicine Radiopharmaceutical Dose in children. The dose recommendations, calculated based on children's weight ("straight weight" basis) have been tested in children’s hospitals and are compatible with high-quality imaging and further dose reduction in the first decades of life.

With the launch of “Go With the Guidelines”, the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging reiterates the central Image Gently message, which hold that as children may be more sensitive to medical radiation than adults, and cumulative radiation exposure to their smaller bodies could, over time, have adverse effects, radiologists who perform nuclear medicine imaging exams on pediatric

"The new guidelines are a great accomplishment,” Frederic H. Fahey, DSc, president-elect of SNM and director of Physics in Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging at Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, noted in a statement. “The priority now, is to focus on bringing these guidelines to the attention of the rest of the nuclear medicine community, especially to medical practitioners in our general hospitals. We want everyone to perform quality nuclear medicine with the least amount of radiation delivered to the patient as possible.”

To foster awareness, Image Gently and SNM are distributing thousands of 11x14-inch posters that remind medical practitioners to use these new guidelines for 11 frequently performed imaging studies in children. Posters are provided at no cost, can be found inside various medical imaging journals this fall (2011), and can be downloaded from the Image Gently website ( www.imagegently.org).

Michael J. Gelfand, MD, past president of SNM and chief of nuclear medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, noted in a statement released by the American College of Radiology (ACR) that the poster and dose recommendations should be especially helpful in reducing radiation dose in hospitals and clinics that perform limited numbers of nuclear medicine procedures on children.

Also available as part of the “Go With the Guidelines” initiative is a companion Image Gently/SNM publication entitled “What You Should Know About Pediatric Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Safety.” It is intended to help families gain a better understanding of the complex factors involved in providing safe, effective nuclear medicine exams to children.

To read the new guidelines and learn more about the campaign, click here: http://www.pedrad.org/associations/5364/ig/