FDA Initiative Aims to Cut Medical Radiation Exposure

Focus of efforts include computed tomography, nuclear medicine studies and fluoroscopy
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new initiative that aims to reduce exposure to radiation from computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies and fluoroscopy, the three procedures that are the main sources of medically-related radiation exposure.

The initiative has three components: promotion of the safe use of medical imaging, supporting clinicians to make informed decisions, and ensuring that the patients have more awareness of their own exposure to medical scan-related radiation.

Device manufacturers will be subject to requirements for the inclusion of safeguards at the machine design stage, to develop safer technologies and to train practitioners in the safe use of devices. For example, devices may be required to have radiation dose display, recording and reporting functions incorporated into their design, as well as an alert function when dosages go over the optimal level.

"The amount of radiation Americans are exposed to from medical imaging has dramatically increased over the past 20 years. The goal of FDA's initiative is to support the benefits associated with medical imaging while minimizing the risks," Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a Feb. 9 press release. "Working together, the FDA and other organizations hope to help patients get the right imaging exam, at the right time, with the right radiation dose."

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