Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Heart Scans, Can They Cause Radiation Risks?

Ever have your heart tested? Well over the past couple decades medical imaging has become more and more when testing, diagnosing or treating patients for heart disease.  Unfortunately, since these tests are producing better results each year, they are also being used more frequently on heart disease patients. Tests that include radiation are nuclear stress tests, cardiac CT scans and fluoroscopy. "Heart imaging procedures account for almost 40 percent of the radiation exposure from medical imaging," said Dr. Reza Fazel, chair of the statement writing committee and cardiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.  Now since doctors don't want to perform unnecessary heart scans they check to see if the patient meets a certain criteria through a few questions:
  • "How will the test help diagnose or treat the heart problem?"
  • "Are there alternatives that don't use radiation?"
  • "What are the levels of radiation exposure, how will it affect the risk of cancer later in life and how does that compare to the risk from other common activities?"

After evaluating the patient, doctors will either perform a heart scan or a better treatment with out radiation.  Even though the radiation risk is small, doctors will be able to further minimize risks for the patient.  Other factors to consider are the tests accuracy, availability, cost, convenience as well as other risks aside from radiation.

EVERA. Everyone should feel this good about healthcare.


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