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FDA to Boost Radiation Oversight

February 11, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Interventional Radiology, Nuclear Medicine
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The FDA announced Tuesday the launch of an initiative to cut unneeded radiation exposure from three kinds of medical imaging procedures: computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies, and flouroscopy. These three are the biggest contributors to total radiation exposure for Americans and use much higher radiation doses than other imaging procedures, such as standard X-rays, dental X-rays, and mammograms.

While CT, nuclear medicine, and flouroscopy have helped save lives, all three tests pose dangers, including increased risk of cancer, skin burns, hair loss, and cataracts.

“The amount of radiation Americans are exposed to from medical imaging has dramatically increased over the past 20 years,” said Jeffrey Shuren, MD, JD, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “The goal of FDA”s initiative is to support th benefits associated with medical imaging while minimizing the risks.”

The initiative will promote the safe use of medical imaging devices, support informed clinical decision-making, and increase patient awareness of their own exposure. The FDA intends to issue targeted requirements for manufacturers of CT and fluoroscopic devices to incorporate important safeguards into the design of their machines to develop safer technologies and to provide appropriate training to support safe use by practitioners.

At the end of March, the FDA will host a public meeting to discuss what requirements to establish. Read more about the FDA’s initiative.

Related seminar: Radiation Overexposure: Are Your Patients at Risk?

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