[ RadSafe ] CT scans dangerous?

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Fri Nov 2 12:18:22 CDT 2007

I think that ALARA should indeed apply in medical exposure.  What
changes is the level that is "reasonable".

The over-arching problem is looking at radiation risk (or any risk, for
that matter) in isolation.  The risk of into a small open boat and
rowing off into the North Atlantic is high, and under normal
circumstances is unacceptably so.  However, in comparison to staying
aboard the Titanic, the risk becomes much more reasonable.  The
radiation dose from a CT scan is higher than I feel is reasonable to
receive recreationally, but there are a lot of medical conditions where
the quality of information gained is worth the risk.

As my Grandmother might phrase it; "You should live so long that the
radiation from the CT is your biggest worry." 

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of John Jacobus
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2007 7:09 PM
To: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: RE: [ RadSafe ] CT scans dangerous?

ALARA does not and should not apply to medical exposures. ALARA
principles are used to reduce the risk of harmful effects associated
with radiation exposures.  In medicine, the patient is frequently
already at risk from harm due to disease or injury. 
Radiation, surgery, prescribed drugs, etc., all have the potential to
improve the patents' health and quality of life.  

While physicians are probably not trained in the risks of radiation
exposure, drug interactions, etc. they assume total responsibility for
the patient under their care.  

--- "Brunkow, Ward" <ward.brunkow at wipp.ws> wrote:

> Good issue to bring up. I think the answer is as it has been for
> decades:
> >ALARA principal is not observed well within the
> medical community
> >Dr.s aren't trained well in radiation safety and
> therefore prescribe
> diagnostic use freely
> >I think the older CT scanners were giving 12 -20
> Rem  acute exposure at
> times, especially upper and lower GI
> >Not enough consideration given to rapidly dividing
> cells, young people
> >$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, money driven yet, not
> ethical to give
> someone this exposure if there isn't significant benefit, especially 
> younger person, but have to keep those bucks coming in
> >Too much "cook book" diagnosis in medical community
> yet, diagnostic
> (therapeutic for that matter also) radiation exposure used too freely.
> The Prescribe and move on to the next one....
> premise....
> W. G. (Ward) Brunkow
> DOE Contractor (former Medical School RSO)
> ----Original Message-----
> From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl
> [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
> Behalf Of Steven Dapra
> Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 7:42 PM
> To: radsafe at radlab.nl
> Subject: [ RadSafe ] CT scans dangerous?
> Oct. 29, 2007
> 	This article from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of Oct. 14 was 
> published in today's Albuquerque Journal.
> 	The link
> is: 
> 01159e51df09009d. 
> This is the website of the American College of Radiology.  (The 
> article didn't seem to be available on the SFS-S website.)
> 	According to the article, the ECRI Institute "an independent
> group, estimates that CT scans cause 6,000 cases of cancer per year, 
> half of them fatal, making them more of a risk than wrong-site 
> surgeries."
> 	The ECRI's URL is
> <http://www.ecri.org/Pages/default.aspx>.  It was founded in 1968 as 
> the Emergency Care Research Institute.  A summary of its history will 
> be found here:
> <http://www.ecri.org/About/Pages/History.aspx>.
> 	Any comments on the article about CT scans?
> Steven Dapra
> sjd at swcp.com

"If you guard your toothbrushes and diamonds with equal zeal, you'll
probably lose fewer toothbrushes and more diamonds."
- Former national security advised McGeorge Bundy
-- John
John Jacobus, MS
Certified Health Physicist
e-mail:  crispy_bird at yahoo.com

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