Children and CT Concerns

By Health Day

It's estimated 6-percent of all pediatric visits to the emergency room are stomach-pain related. Ruling out conditions like appendicitis can include the use of high-tech tools.

In a new study, just published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers gathered E.R. data over a ten-year period between 1998 and 2008 for patients age 19 and under.

In 1998, fewer than 1-percent of all pediatric patients were scanned with CT or computed tomography - to evaluate abdominal pain.

10 years later, the rate of CT use rose to 15.4 percent.

CT scanning combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. These scans provide clearer, more revealing views of organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels than simple x-rays-but there has been concern over radiation exposure especially in children.

This past May, the Food and Drug administration asked the makers of these devices to factor in the safety of pediatric patients when using existing machines or designing news ones.

As always, talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have about CT scans and other medical tests.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that can help keep your family healthy.

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