August 24, 2009 - The Image Gently campaign has developed online teaching materials and checklists to help interventional radiology providers use the lowest dose necessary to perform interventional procedures on children.
Interventional physicians, medical physicists, and radiologic technologists are encouraged to visit the Image Gently web site (www.imagegently.org) to review these important materials and factor the information into their clinical decision making.
Because children are more sensitive to radiation received from imaging scans than adults, and cumulative radiation exposure to their smaller, developing bodies could, over time, have adverse effects, Image Gently is urging providers to: child size the technique; step lightly on the fluoroscopy pedal; and consider ultrasound or, when applicable, MRI guidance.
“Interventional or image guided, minimally invasive surgeries are increasingly replacing more invasive techniques. This latest extension of the Image Gently campaign can give interventional providers real world, practical guidance regarding how they can help ensure that the radiation dose administered to the patients is as low as possible given the particular circumstances of each case,” said Marilyn Goske, M.D., chair of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, past board chair of the Society for Pediatric Radiology, and silverman chair for radiology education, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
New on the Image Gently Web site are:
1. Downloadable slide presentation for use by providers to teach their staff methods to reduce dose and maintain quality. Radiologists are encouraged to give this talk locally
2. Downloadable checklist of dose reduction steps the team can review for each patient
3. Downloadable outline of dose reduction and quality maintenance steps to take in the department
4. Patient brochure including answers for parents about IR procedures. Providers can use this as a guide to communicate concerns and benefits of interventional procedures to patients.
“Interventional techniques are increasingly being used to treat many different types of disease and injury. The fantastic results that these approaches provide, as with all medical techniques, also come with their own potential questions and concerns. We healthcare providers want to ensure that these lifesaving procedures are performed with the utmost care and safety in children. In addition, the materials housed on the Image Gently site can help interventionalists clearly explain the benefits and considerations associated with these techniques,” said Manrita Sidhu, M.D., pediatric and interventional radiologist, Seattle Radiologists, and clinical assistant professor, department of radiology, Seattle Children’s Hospital, who is leading the interventional radiology component of the Image Gently campaign.
The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) recently released a report which stated that more than half of the American population’s exposure to radiation now results from medical imaging scans. Interventional radiology exams, according the NCRP report, are the third largest dose contributor in medicine following CT and nuclear medicine procedures. This extension of the Image Gently campaign is an effort to help ensure that medical techniques for the performance of interventional procedures keep pace with advancing technology and the increasing use of these techniques.
“The Image Gently campaign is a sterling example of the respect and care that radiologists and other providers have for our patients. Medical imaging professionals are constantly striving to refine protocols and treatment mechanism in order to better serve those who depend on us. These new materials from Image Gently will not only make physicians better care providers but help them to fully explain the concerns and benefits inherent to the cutting-edge treatments,” said James H. Thrall, M.D., FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors.
The Image Gently campaign is conducted by the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, founded by the Society for Pediatric Radiology (SPR), the American College of Radiology (ACR), the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), and now encompasses 44 medical organizations serving more than 500,000 health care providers world-wide.
“Our goal is to ensure that every facility uses appropriate dose reduction techniques when performing imaging and interventional procedures in children,” said Diane Mayo, R.T.(R), president of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists. “The technique must always be matched to the size and needs of the child.”
The Image Gently site (www.imagegently.org) also contains the latest research and educational materials to aid radiologists, radiologic technologists, medical physicists, and other imaging stakeholders in determining the appropriate techniques to be used in the imaging of children and how the radiation received from these exams may affect pediatric patients over time.
“'Pediatric patient care is greatly improved during interventional fluoroscopy by collaboration and teamwork of professionals across multiple disciplines. The information provided on the Image Gently web site provides a basis for interaction between the radiologists, the radiologic technologists, qualified medical physicists and other members of the IR team to improve image quality at reduced radiation doses to the patient,” said Maryellen L. Giger, Ph.D., FAAPM, FAIMBE, president of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine.