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Congress Urged to Give FDA Power to Regulate CT Scans

Growing concern over the safety of CT scans has led some experts to suggest that Congress should give the FDA the power to ensure that patients aren't exposed to dangerously high levels of radiation.

In an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, radiologist Rebecca Smith-Bindman describes the fate of a 59-year-old schoolteacher who received an accidental radiation overdose. After her CT scan, the woman became sick and confused and lost her hair.

According to KSDK:

“Doctors have become so entranced by the clarity of images from CT scans ... that they don't think about the extra radiation risk, Smith-Bindman says. Yet a patient who gets a single CT scan -- which uses multiple X-rays -- has a 1 in 80 chance of developing a cancer caused by the test. That's especially alarming, she says, given that 1 in 10 Americans today have a CT scan each year.”

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