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SCANNING CAVEATS

ANCHOR LEAD: DO YOU REALLY NEED THAT DIAGNOSTIC SCAN?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS.

Evidence continues to mount that repeated diagnostic scans that require radiation may result in health problems down the road.  Eliot Fishman, a CT expert at Johns Hopkins, says every patient should get answers to a number of questions before having a scan. This is especially true when children are the subjects of the study.

FISHMAN:  You should ask why do we need this study?  Second thing is where it’s being done.  There’s a range of scanners available, and the people who are using the scanners.  Even if you have the same exact  scanner in two places, one place may use it better than the other.  They know how to minimize the dose.  If you’re taking a child make sure it’s a place that deals with children, that has the doses optimized for patient size and patient weight, and then make certain that the physician who’s going to interpret the scan is familiar with the process.                     :28

Fishman says one big cause of repeated scans and increased radiation exposure is the tests aren’t done right the first time, so it’s worth traveling to the experts. At Johns Hopkins I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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