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Sharp rise in CT scans prompts call for new safeguards on radiation exposure

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g5218 (Published 18 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5218
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

A group of experts has called for extra safeguards to protect people from radiation exposure, given a “dramatic” recent rise in the use of computed tomography (CT) scanning.

Hospitals in England carried out almost five million CT scans in 2012-13, compared with just over one million in 1996-97, the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment said.1 The committee chair, Alex Elliot, said that the latest data for 2013-14 showed a further 13% rise in use this year and that it showed no sign of “plateauing.”

He said that CT scans made up a big proportion of the overall medical exposure to radiation in the United Kingdom, so their rising use was …

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