CT radiation dose reduction
Why do volumes matter?
You want an experienced team to care for your child whether they are visiting Children’s with an injury or a serious condition. Our high volumes mean we can provide a dedicated radiology staff, child-friendly facility and state-of-the-art technology to our patients and their families.
Why is demonstrating outcomes important?
The radiology team at Children’s is actively involved in ongoing research and continuing education. This allows us to continually evaluate and update our scanning protocols and safety measures to ensure we are providing the best possible care to our patients.
What sets us apart?
- We have more experience imaging children and young adults than any other pediatric hospital system in the country, with an average of more than 4,000 scans each week.
- We take every precaution to make sure each child receives the smallest amount of radiation during his scan. In 2010, we were the first documented pediatric hospital in the U.S. to use bismuth shielding during CT scans. These special shields help reduce radiation exposure to sensitive body parts, such as the thyroid and breasts. These shields are only built for adults, so the radiology team has to customize each shield so they will fit our young patients.
- We are American College of Radiology (ACR) accredited in all modalities that can be accredited (CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, PET/CT and ultrasound). Accreditation by the ACR demonstrates a commitment to quality care and patient safety, setting Children's apart from other radiology centers.
- Our Radiology department goes to great lengths to keep kids safe and families happy while accurately diagnosing pediatric conditions. The ACR recently recognized this effort by naming us a Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence (DICOE). Children's is the first pediatric radiology center in the nation to receive this prestigious award.
- Children’s places the highest priority on giving our patients the lowest dose of radiation possible. We follow Image Gently and ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) guidelines for reducing radiation exposure among young patients. Doses are based on several things, including clinical indication, the body part being scanned, the number of recent scans and the patient’s weight.
How do we make sure we are providing high-quality care?
To make sure our staff is always familiar with the most up-to-date techniques, radiologists and technologists are re-certified on pediatric specific guidelines once each year. This is only one of the processes in place to help ensure all patients receive high-quality care and the lowest possible radiation dose.
- Scans are often clearer with higher levels of radiation. Because this radiation can be dangerous to children’s growing bodies, radiologists on staff are trained to read low-dose scans. This makes imaging safer for patients at Children’s.
- To make sure every scan is done with the lowest amount of radiation, we use a technique that gives each patient a pulse of radiation instead of using a steady stream of radiation during exams, such as fluoroscopy and interventional radiology.
- We use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound whenever possible because these scans do not use radiation.
- We are accredited by the ACR for all of our scans. This means experts in this area have reviewed the ways we do our scans and determined that we have high practice standards.
- Pediatric-trained sedation physicians and nurses at Children’s are available for patients who must hold still for a long time, are young or who are scared of small spaces.
- Child life specialists can help calm or distract a child without using sedation or anesthesia.