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CT scans need to be ‘minimised’

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Multi-trauma patients often receive radiation doses from CT scans equivalent to 1,000 X-rays, US research shows.

A trauma centre study of 86 traffic accident patients found they received an average of three CT scans in the first 24 hours, with an average dose of 40 millisieverts of ionised radiation. Three millisieverts of background radiation is the average annual exposure.

‘Although radiographic studies are an important part of trauma evaluation, they should be used judiciously, with the goal of minimising exposure to ionizing radiation,’ the authors said in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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