MSHA offers safer CT scanning for children, using low-dose machines

4/7/2011


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – In an effort to provide exceptional quality in diagnostics with the highest possible level of safety for patients, Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) has installed low-dose computed tomography (CT) scanners in six of its facilities in the last year. 

A study published this week in the journal Radiology found that the frequency of CT scans for children increased five-fold between 1995 and 2008. During that time, better CT technology has led to more accurate diagnosis and better care for patients of all ages, but some concern remains regarding radiation exposure, particularly in children. MSHA is committed to providing the lowest possible radiation dose for every patient by using the latest technology in CT scanners. These scanners reduce radiation dose by up to 50 percent without compromising image quality, and they are accredited by the American College of Radiology. 

"These new scanners allow us to individualize the radiation dose for each patient,” said Dr. Marianne Neal, a pediatric radiologist at Niswonger Children’s Hospital. “When a child needs to be scanned, he or she won't get an adult dose of radiation; we can reduce that to limit the radiation to the very smallest dose possible."

During the past 12 months, Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC), Franklin Woods Community Hospital (FWCH), Johnson County Community Hospital (JCCH), Norton Community Hospital (NCH), Sycamore Shoals Hospital (SSH) and Mountain States Imaging at Med Tech Park have all introduced Siemens low-dose CT scanners, combining the fastest speed, highest resolution and lowest radiation possible. 
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