Survey of paediatric CT doses: Start recording weight now for April deadline

Published: 14 January 2019 Ezine

Do you work in a paediatric CT imaging specialist centre? Do you want to improve paediatric CT image optimisation?
The Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) paediatric optimisation working party are designing the UK survey of paediatric CT doses.

The survey will launch in April and centres are being encouraged to start collecting data as soon as possible.

Under regulation 32 of The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations (IR(ME)R) 2017 and IR(ME)R (NI) 2018, it is required that, “The employer must collect dose estimates from medical exposures for radiodiagnostic and interventional procedures.”

The regulation also states the employer must consider, “The distribution by age and gender of the exposed population and, when so requested, must provide the dose estimates to the Secretary of State (Department of Health in Northern Ireland)”.

For the IPEM survey, the measured weight of the patient will be the essential data field for paediatric body examinations. For head scans, the age will be sufficient.

The weight of the patient should be measured rather than estimated. Recent measurements such as during a clinical appointment within the last month would be suitable.

Collect the weight using local radiation dose monitoring software and, where practicable, it should be recorded on the scanner so that it is included in the Radiation Dose Structured Report (RDSR) and Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) dataset.  

Because the doses in the final report will be classified by weight, the measurement will be an essential parameter required to compare any future doses with national DRLs.
Don’t forget, although the survey will not launch until April, due to the limited data available for paediatric patients, centres are asked to start recording weight as soon as possible.