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Semin Pediatr Surg. 2010 Nov;19(4):252-6. doi: 10.1053/j.sempedsurg.2010.06.004.

Managing radiation risk in the evaluation of the pediatric trauma patient.

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Division of Pediatric Surgery, University of Utah, 100 N. Mario Capecchi, Salt Lake City, UT 84113, USA.


Pediatric trauma is usually a nonoperative experience for the pediatric general surgeon. The pediatric trauma surgeon resuscitates the child and then evaluates and triages the identified injuries. A common diagnostic tool is the computed tomography (CT) scan. Most children who require evaluation for significant trauma will get a CT scan, but there are no national guidelines directing the assessment. Injuries to the head, cervical spine, chest, and abdomen can all be imaged with a CT scan; the question is whether the liberal approach to imaging children is appropriate. Over the past decade, concern has arisen about the radiation dose delivered by CT. This concern has generated a national campaign to "image gently." This article reviews the data involving the risk of medical radiation exposure and discusses strategies for managing the risk.

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