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CT Scans Pose Cancer Risk for Pediatric Patients

Computed tomography (CT) scans contain 60 to 80 times the radiation that a normal X-ray does, increasing the risk of developing cancer in children, according to recent studies. 

About fifty percent of pediatric patients who go to emergency rooms with head injuries are immediately given a CT scan, even though the American Academy of Pediatrics says a thorough examination should be conducted first. Less than half of parents are aware CT scans can pose a cancer risk to their child, new research reveals.

Children who get two or three CT scans before they turn 15 have a three times greater chance of developing brain cancer, according to a June 2012 study in The Lancet. Those that undergo five to 10 scans in the same time-frame have a three times higher risk for developing leukemia.

"Clinicians may therefore have a greater responsibility to initiate conversations with families about risks/benefits of CT rather than do so only when prompted by the parent," wrote researchers of a June JAMA Pediatrics study, which showed that 5,000 future cancer cases may be tied to the 4 million pediatric CT scans performed annually. Read the full details here:

Less than half of parents aware of CT-scan cancer risk

An uninformed patient is one of the leading causes of medical malpractice cases. Make sure that your child's doctor discusses in detail with you the risks and benefits of treatment before a decision is made.

If you or a family member believe you have a medical malpractice case, contact Crandall & Pera Law today for a free case evaluation. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.

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