Patients Prefer CT In ER Despite Its Accompanied Radiation

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CT_scanning_systemAccording to a recent emergency room survey, patients must be consulted before making decisions related to the use of CT. Even when time is in short supply and answers seem obvious.  The November issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology is including a study saying that patients are convinced that CT is the way to go to answer questions that arise in the emergency room. In addition, the study added that the use of this x-ray–based modality is more important than any associated risk of radiation exposure. However, what many patients don’t accept is being cut out of the decision loop.Moreover, the research found that two-thirds of patients prefer to be involved in the discussion about the risks and benefits of CT before the scan. This research was made by the study’s lead author, Dr. Kevin M. Takakuwa.

Takakuwa mentioned that according to survey made at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, 383 emergency department patients answered questions concerning their reactions and knowledge about radiation coming from CT. Patients preferred diagnostic trials which deliver better results , although such tests may involve more radiation .Such preference appeared in 74% of the patients who mentioned that diagnosing their condition with CT was more important than radiation concerns. However, 68% of the patients preferred that their physicians to take time to discuss the risks and benefits rather than leave it to the physician's judgment to order the best test. Takakuwa said “Because patients drive their care to some degree, it is important for physicians to understand patients’ knowledge and attitudes about radiation exposure, particularly as they relate to CT,”

Differences in the reactions and knowledge were revealed by this survey. Such differences were related to the patient’s background, ethnicity, and clinical circumstances.On the other hand, privately insured patients wanted to have their condition diagnosed with CT rather than worry about radiation. White people are more likely to prefer a more definitive test at the expense of more radiation where African-Americans people and patients with less pain are more likely to prefer the risks and benefits explained at the expense of time. Only 34%of educated patients knew that CT delivered more radiation than chest x-rays. Takakuwa mentioned that “Our results suggest that we may help emergency department patients better with targeted teaching about radiation, decreasing [patients’] pain, discussing risks and benefits, and asking [patients] to participate in the ordering of their diagnostic tests,"


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