[ RadSafe ] Cumulative Radiation Exposure Shows Increased CancerRisk for Emergency Department Patients

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Thu May 29 11:10:12 CDT 2008

I am a HUGE fan of the idea electronic medical records, and agree that
it is reasonable to include a patients cumulative dose in those records.
HOWEVER, I believe it is contra-indicated to worry about long term risk
from radiation in a bona-fide medical emergency.  Long-term risk
decreases to zero as short-term death increases to one.

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:56 PM
To: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Cumulative Radiation Exposure Shows Increased
CancerRisk for Emergency Department Patients

Cumulative Radiation Exposure Shows Increased Cancer Risk for Emergency
Department Patients

UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL May 29, 2008 (12:01 AM ET)
Sean Wagner
swagner at wiley.com
Cumulative Radiation Exposure Shows Increased Cancer Risk for Emergency
Department Patients According to a new study, patients are receiving
estimated doses of radiation from medical diagnostic imaging studies,
such as CT (or "CAT") scans, that may be detrimental to their long term
health, putting them at an increased risk of developing cancer. To date,
emergency physicians have not been made aware of the cumulative amount
of radiation that their patients receive. In fact they currently have no
way to know or estimate any given patient's cumulative dose. A new study
hopes to quantify and further explore these concerns.
Led by Timothy B. Bullard, M.D., M.B.A of the Orlando Regional Medical
Center (ORMC), the cross-sectional study examined the amount of ionizing
radiation that a random selection of patients received over a five-year
period at ORMC and Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. The
study is the first to estimate the total cumulative radiation dosage
delivered to a population from multiple diagnostic imaging modalities
during a defined period of time. 
Patients had an average cumulative estimated effective radiation dose of
45.0 milliseiverts, with CT scans and nuclear medicine studies
contributing the most radiation. Twelve percent of the sample population
was estimated to have received 100 or more millisieverts of radiation, a
value that exceeds the accepted threshold of safety for exposure to low
level ionizing radiation. If study patients are representative of the
general emergency department population, then a substantial number of
people may be placed at increased risk of developing cancer over their
lifetime from diagnostic imaging studies as a result of these exposures.
"Our research hopefully will affect the habits of physicians who
routinely order medical imaging diagnostic studies in their practices,"
says Bullard. "We also hope that our research will further promote the
need for electronic medical records with portability and encourage the
development of an individual patient cumulative exposure estimate tool."
The presentation is entitled "Cumulative Radiation Exposure and Cancer
Risk from Diagnostic Imaging in Patients Presenting to the Emergency
Department." This paper will be presented at the 2008 SAEM Annual
Meeting in Washington, D.C. on May 29, 2008, in the moderated poster
session beginning at 3:00 p.m. in Exhibit Hall A of the Marriott Wardman
Park Hotel. Abstracts are published in Vol. 15, No. 5, Supplement 1, May
2008 of Academic Emergency Medicine, the official journal of the Society
for Academic Emergency Medicine.
# # #
Press Room - 2008 SAEM Annual Meeting, May 29-June 1, 2008,Washington,
Location Park Tower Suite #8229
Tel: (202)-328-2000 (ask for the SAEM Registration Desk)
Fax: (202)-234-0015 2 (mark for attn of Maryanne Greketis or Sandra
Rummel) Contact Sean Wagner (swagner at wiley.com) to arrange for an
interview prior to or during the SAEM Annual Meeting. Dr. Bullard can be
reached directly at timothy.bullardmd at orhs.org.
About The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (www.saem.org) The
Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) is a national non-profit
organization of over 6,000 academic emergency physicians, emergency
medicine residents and medical students. SAEM's mission is to improve
patient care by advancing research and education in emergency medicine.
SAEM's vision is to promote ready access to quality emergency care for
all patients, to advance emergency medicine as an academic and clinical
discipline, and to maintain the highest professional standards as
clinicians, teachers, and researchers. The SAEM Annual Meeting attracts
approximately 2,000 medical students, residents and academic emergency
physicians. It provides the largest forum for the presentation of
original research in the specialty of Emergency Medicine. 
About Academic Emergency Medicine (www.aemj.org) AEM is a peer-reviewed
journal whose goal is to advance the science, education, and clinical
practice of emergency medicine, to serve as a voice for the academic
emergency medicine community, and to enhance the goals and objectives of
the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM). Members and
non-members worldwide depend on this journal for translational medicine
relevant to emergency medicine, in addition to clinical news, case
studies and more.
About Wiley-Blackwell
Wiley-Blackwell was formed in February 2007 as a result of the
acquisition of Blackwell Publishing Ltd. by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and
its merger with Wiley's Scientific, Technical, and Medical business.
Together, the companies have created a global publishing business with
deep strength in every major academic and professional field.
Wiley-Blackwell publishes approximately 1,400 scholarly peer-reviewed
journals and an extensive collection of books with global appeal. For
more information on Wiley-Blackwell, please visit
www.blackwellpublishing.com or http://interscience.wiley.com. 
Media ContactSean Wagner
Public Relations Specialist
350 Main St.

Malden, MA 02148
United States
781-388-8550 (phone)
781-338-8550 (fax)
swagner at bos.blackwellpublishing.com

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