Debra Gervais, MD, director of the Division of Pediatric Radiology at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, answers questions about children and radiation exposure.

Radiation Q&A with Debra Gervais, MD

25/Mar/2011

Q: What about other sources of radiation such as medical imaging? Is it important to bring your child to a pediatric hospital for imaging studies like a CT scan or x-ray?

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Debra Gervais, MD Director of the Division of Pediatric Radiology

A: At a pediatric hospital like MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC), there are pediatric radiologists on staff who are dedicated to ensuring the proper performance of equipment. The amount of radiation exposure from x-rays, CT scans and other imaging studies is limited to the minimum that is necessary to answer the diagnostic question. At MGHfC, we use computer decision support systems to help doctors decide whether to do a new scan or if a previous scan may be used. Also, with CT scans, it is important to reduce the dose according to the size and weight of the child. MGHfC has been a leader in reducing radiation dose from CT scans for over a decade. These dedicated protocols may not always exist in other hospitals without as much of a pediatric radiology focus.

To read more about what Mass General Imaging is doing to reduce radiation dose from medical imaging, see http://www.massgeneral.org/imaging/about/reducing_radiation_exposure.aspx