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Number of CT scans on children 'should be reduced'

Monday 9th May 2011
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Physicians are subjecting children to unnecessary CT scans which expose them to radiation, a report has said.

Only a small percentage of children who attend hospital with blunt head trauma have a traumatic brain injury, indicated the study, carried out by Children's Hospital Boston and the University of California Davis.

It was found that allowing for a period of observation could lessen the number of brain scans carried out, without putting the patient at risk.

Researcher Lise Nigrovic said that CT is not bad if it really needed, but those who have a low risk of traumatic brain injury should not undergo the procedure.

"It's the children in the middle risk groups - those who don't appear totally normal, but whose injury isn't obviously severe - for whom observation can really help," she said.

Meanwhile, progress has been made on a new imaging agent for use in CT scans, research published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society has said.

The research indicated that the development of a process for producing a large amount of the imaging agent was underway, and the chemical is safe for use.

Written by Mathew Horton
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