Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Should I allow my injured child to have an Xray or a CT Scan?
"Let's play a new game: Its called Fry Teddy"
Fact: Repeated doses of x-rays from x-ray imaging do increase your risk of developing cancer. The most potent is CT scans, one session of which carries a 1/1,000 risk of developing cancer. The risk is greatest by far with children who have rapidly dividing cells (DNA is most vulnerable to damage during the process of cell division - mitosis).
If your child is injured, such as from a fall, a CT Scan may be ordered as a matter of course to assist with making an accurate diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis is most important, especially if internal injury to the abdomen or brain is suspected. However; those regions of the body are the last places one would ever want to irradiate, especially of a child.
I have written about this before and am writing about it again because the use of the CT Scan continues to be routine in this country and my questioning of doctors and radiologists shows an appalling level of ignorance and lack of any concern about the known health risks of CT Scans. This continues despite the facts and the availability of excellent alternatives.
You can curb the risk from excessive radiation by insisting on using other imaging methods that do not involve radiation these include MRI and ultrasound.
If you are asked to consent to your child undergoing a CT SCan, my advice to you is to refuse to allow it. Insist on readily available alternatives and do not allow yourself to be fobbed off by excuses about availability or extra cost, or flippant comments about how miniscule the risks are - this is your child's long term health that you are dealing with here!
Please read my earlier articles about this most important health issue.
Here is the original.