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FDA Asks for Safer X-rays in Order to Minimize Kids’ Overexposure to Radiation

In May the FDA sent out a series of recommendations to all the manufacturers of radiation-producing medical scanners. All the manufacturers of X-ray imaging machines have been requested to consider the safety of pediatric patients.

Tue Nov 20 2012By Jonathan Payne

FDA Asks for Safer X-rays in Order to Minimize Kids’ Overexposure to Radiation

Overexposure to radiation is much more prevalent in kids than it is in adults.  Children’s rapidly-developing bodies have different physiological sensitivities that should be taken into consideration when providing medical care.

Unfortunately, the same CT scans, fluoroscopy procedures and other X-ray imaging techniques have been used on both adults and children for years. However, there is now much more significant concern about cancer diagnosis and other potential ill-effects of kids' exposure to radiation.  This concern has led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to call for X-ray imaging devices designed specifically for the needs of children.

Cancer-Causing X-ray Radiation Hits Children Harder than Adults

There is no argument that CT scans and conventional X-rays play a major role in saving lives.  However, even though X-rays can help save lives, if they are not used properly and with caution, they can submit too powerful of a dose of radiation on patients.  This radiation can be especially harmful to children.

Children’s bodies are more sensitive to radiation because their bodies are still growing.  This causes their bodies to be much more susceptible to radiation than adults who are fully grown.  When exposed to the same doses of radiation, children will absorb more radiation than adults.  

Change on the Horizon


In May the FDA sent out a series of recommendations to all the manufacturers of radiation-producing medical scanners.  All the manufacturers of X-ray imaging machines have been requested to consider the safety of pediatric patients.  This includes both explaining how to operate existing machines (adjustments taken into account for children patients) as well as how to design new machines.  If manufacturers are not capable of illustrating that their devices are safe for children patients, the FDA thinks they should have to affix warning labels to the machines stating so.

 

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