Peer assessment of pediatric surgeons for potential risks of radiation exposure from computed tomography scans.
PURPOSE: Radiology literature reports potential cancer risk from radiation exposure from computed tomography (CT). We hypothesized that pediatric surgeons' knowledge of potential risks of radiation exposure from CT scan is limited. METHODS: We used an anonymous, Internet-based peer assessment survey for members of the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA). The survey assessed surgeon's knowledge based on potential risks of radiation exposure from CT as well as current practice patterns for use of CT. The chi2 test of significance was used to detect any differences in responses based on years in training. RESULTS: Twenty percent (147/753) of the American Pediatric Surgical Association members completed the survey. About one half (54%) of surgeons believe that the lifetime risk of cancer was increased because of radiation from one abdominal/pelvic CT scan, although more than 75% of respondents underestimated the radiation dose from a CT scan compared to a chest radiograph. Most surgeons generally did not discuss the potential risks of CT scan with their patients. Surgeons demonstrated a range of responses for use of CT for select clinical scenarios. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric surgeon's knowledge of potential risks of radiation exposure from CT scan is limited. As the radiology literature indicates an increasing awareness for potential cancer risks from radiation exposure from CT, there is also a need for education of subspecialties outside of radiology.
Rice, HE; Frush, DP; Harker, MJ; Farmer, D; Waldhausen, JH; APSA Education Committee,
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