ECR 2014 is hardly a day old and ESR has already made a splash with its new initiative, EuroSafe Imaging–a mission “to support and strengthen medical radiation protection across Europe following a holistic, inclusive approach.”
The necessity for this organization stems from the fact that cumulative patient radiation doses have reached levels never seen before, and these levels have resulted in cases of overexposure. Much of this exposure has come from computed tomography (CT) and its overuse in the medical imaging environment. Thanks to the evolution of technology, CT is now heading in the direction of becoming a simple radiograph, such as a chest X-ray.
With its mission in place, EuroSafe Imaging is currently in the process of creating a steering committee and has already taken part in projects in the area of medical radiation protection. The ESR has already worked with numerous organizations around the world on this topic. Projects with organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Scientific Commission on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), and the International Commission on Radiological Protection, has resulted in motivating countries to translate guidelines into their own languages, and creating methods to soliciting feedback and providing certification.
Another mission behind Euro Safe Imaging is to educate patients about medical radiation and how it affects them. This accomplished by explaining how everyone is exposed to small levels of radiation on a daily basis. ESR breaks this information down by providing details on how many months/years worth of everyday radiation is included in medical imaging procedures such as chest X-rays, CT, PET/CT, etc.
From these charts, patients can understand the relative harmlessness of a single exam. It becomes the mission of the radiologist to provide the patient with the right medicating imaging procedure, at the appropriate dosage (as low as possible without compromising image quality), while producing the best image possible for proper diagnoses.
Dose efficiency and patient safety have become increasingly common in the medical imaging industry and for good reasons. It is the role of medical professionals to keep patients safe while providing them with excellent care. EuroSafe Imaging from ESR is another excellent example of a professional association taking action to increase awareness and find solutions to this important issue.