Push to measure, control pediatric dose gains steam
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Creating exposure ranges for pediatric patients is an important goal—with action taking place on several fronts. Researchers from six children’s hospitals in the U.S.are collaborating to build the first pediatric CT dose index registry. The QuIRCC project is designed to help healthcare providers “child-size” their scanning protocols by giving them a better metric to measure radiation exposure. This project establishes typical dose settings through surveys and then adjusts them, based on patient size, to levels that are significantly reduced while remaining diagnostic.
At the same time, a new FDA program focuses on scanner instrumentation as a means to reduce dose. New FDA guidelines, open for public comment, propose that new medical imaging devices would come with dose settings and instructions for children of different ages and sizes — or be labeled “not for pediatric use.”
Carestream’s latest software for our CR and DR imaging systems provides seven levels of dose control—which exceeds the four levels requested by the FDA. This software offers exposure techniques for seven different ages and/or sizes of pediatric patients. It equips technologists to quickly and easily set a different technique for a neonatal infant as opposed to a toddler.
Optional software also offers quality testing (using a phantom) to assure that the CR cassette and DR detector are meeting performance parameters. And analysis and reporting software monitors exposure indices for all exams conducted on Carestream’s CR/DR platforms. Existing customers can upgrade to the new software to take advantage of these dose optimization improvements.
Is your institution monitoring dose for pediatric patients? Have you set guidelines and how do you monitor pediatric exams?