Safety Corner, v1.3

Safety Corner, v1.3

Radiation Dose Monitoring, Part 1

Radiation Safety and Patient Radiation Dose are of paramount importance to the Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging at the University of Virginia Health System. Recently, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) adopted an initiative on several fronts to assure that there is a consistent process for Diagnostic Imaging to be universally safer for all of patients. Furthermore, the FDA set forth regulations that require imaging equipment vendors to adopt safeguards to prevent patients from receiving an unusually high radiation dose. Many equipment vendors have developed and installed Dose Alerting features on Computed Tomography (CT) scanners and Angiographic Imaging Equipment. These tools are for instantaneous feedback to the Radiologists and Radiology Technologists to make them aware of possible unsafe conditions at the time of the radiation dose delivery.

The predicted risk of mortality (i.e. “death”) from cancer as a result of the radiation from a CT scan was predicted to be 0.1% in a recent study. This study brings to light the low “risk” of radiation induced cancer. Nevertheless, we intend to track these quantities of radiation so that we are more aware of the amount of radiation we are delivering to our patients and continually work to improve the quality of our studies with lower radiation dose.

Nevertheless, we intend to track these quantities of radiation so that we are more aware of the amount of radiation we are delivering to our patients and continually work to improve the quality of our studies with lower radiation dose.

The University of Virginia Health System has purchased a Radiation Dose Monitoring System to better monitor radiation dose across the Health System. The new system will become the backbone of Quality Control for the Radiation used in procedures and imaging exams and will provide a mechanism to more closely monitor cumulative patient exposures. This information will be readily available to health care providers and their patients as they consider the most effective and safest diagnostic and treatment plan.