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FDA Takes Steps to Protect Children from Radiation Overexposure

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Getty/Abid Katib

Getty/Abid Katib

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – This week the Food and Drug Administration proposed new guidelines designed to limit a child’s exposure to radiation during routine medical scans. A recommendation St. Louis Children’s Hospital had already taken to heart.

In April, St. Louis Children’s Hospital became the first pediatric hospital in Missouri to acquire new FLASH CT scanner technology, which is designed to make X-ray scans safer for children.

“Children’s hospitals are well aware of the dangers inherent to medical radiation,” says Dr. Robert McKinstry, Chief of Radiology at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Studies show the new technology cuts the amount of radiation emitted by a standard CT scanner by 75%. Another study shows that the average child undergoes more than 7 x-rays or cat scans before turning 18.

The radiation manager at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center Nathan Bennett welcomes this effort by the FDA to come up with new kid-friendly guidelines for such scans.

“Just because you don’t necessarily see radiation doesn’t mean its not bad,” said Bennette. “We don’t know the future affects of that is. We just got to protect our children.”

Bennett says Cardinal Glennon has taken its child radiation dose protocols and shared it with their fellow SSM adult hospitals to make sure kids always get the safest amount of radiation allowed for their age.

The FLASH CT is expected to be available to patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital by mid-summer.

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