Feature

Regulating radiation

The FDA ordered medical manufacturers to add new safety controls to such diagnostic instruments as CT scanners and fluoroscopes. 

Prompted by recent cases in which patients received up to eight times the prescribed radiation, the FDA this week ordered medical manufacturers to add new safety controls. The tougher design and training standards apply to such widely used diagnostic instruments as CT scanners and fluoroscopes.

The new regulations come five months after more than 250 patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles were bombarded with excessive radiation from CT scanners, with many reporting hair loss and skin redness. The average lifetime dose of diagnostic medical radiation has risen sevenfold since 1980; a single CT chest scan can deliver as much radiation as 400 X-rays.

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