Parents allow children to undergo CT despite knowing potential risks

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A survey published in the August issue of the American Journal of Radiology demonstrated that if a physician recommends a CT scan, parents will not cancel the studies for their child, even if they are educated about the risks of radiation exposure, according to Reuters.

The survey involved 100 parents, who were given an educational pamphlet about the procedure. The authors reported that the handout significantly increased the number of parents who realized CT uses radiation (from 66 percent to 99 percent), as well as the percentage that believed CT increases the lifetime risk of cancer (13 percent to 86 percent). Yet, none of the parents refused or requested to defer the child’s CT, though 14 percent did express some concern after reading the handout, Reuters reported.

"We would encourage radiologists and other physician leaders to help make this information available to ordering clinicians at the time they are making the decision to order the study," David Larson, MD, from University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and study author told Reuters. "We would encourage clinicians to discuss the risks with parents and patients before the child undergoes the CT."