Intermountain Healthcare alerts patients to cumulative radiation exposure
Roughly 25 patients a day are wheeled into Intermountain Medical Center's "cath lab" for CT scans to look for calcium buildup in their coronary arteries. Coronary artery scans — the newest addition to radiologists' growing arsenal of diagnostic tools — can aid doctors in diagnosing heart problems early. But they expose patients to 50 to 150 times the radiation of a chest X-ray, raising their risk for developing cancer later in life. "We want to make sure patients are getting tests only for the right reasons," said cardiologist Donald Lappé at a news conference Wednesday touting a 9-month-old initiative aimed at ensuring just that.
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