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WHY MORE CT

WHY ARE MORE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT DOCS ORDERING CT SCANS?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

If you’re acutely injured, should you receive a CT scan to evaluate your injuries?  Judging by the 300% increase in CT scans over the last 9 years, most emergency physicians seem to believe the answer is yes.  Yet Frederick Korley, an emergency medicine physician at Johns Hopkins and author of a recent study examining the trend, says at this point, the reasons for the increase are speculative.

KORLEY: There are a couple of different reasons why we think this increase has occurred.  One of them is the fact that CT scans are really sensitive in terms of identifying life threatening injuries.  They are a lot better than X rays, which is what most physicians used in the past.  Another reason is that most physicians are averse to missing any life-threatening injuries.  So they become very risk-averse, and that shows in their practice patterns.     :26

Korley says many emergency departments also have their own scanners, facilitating use of CT.  But as with every test, ask your doctor why it is necessary.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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