Doses of radiation used in medical imaging techniques like CT scan and MRI have been in the news recently. Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced an initiative to reduce radiation dosage in medical devices in an effort to reduce unnecessary exposure.
"The amount of radiation Americans are exposed to from medical imaging has dramatically increased over the past 20 years," said Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "The goal of FDA's initiative is to support the benefits associated with medical imaging while minimizing the risks."
The new initiative aims to create a section on the FDA's website where patients can track their medical imaging history and thus alert their physicians if there is a need for more tests. The new initiative also follows on the heels of findings that 200 patients at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center were exposed to excessive radiation over an 18-month period.
The FDA aims to regulate doses used in computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies and fluoroscopy. "These procedures are the greatest contributors to total radiation exposure within the U.S. population and use much higher radiation doses than other radiographic procedures, such as standard X-rays, dental X-rays, and mammography," the FDA said in a statement.