Disparities in Radiation Burden from Trauma Evaluation at Pediatric Versus Nonpediatric Institutions

By: Daniel Lodwick MD, MS, Jennifer Cooper MS, Phd, Dani Gonzalez MD, Amy Lawrence MD, Choonsik Lee PhD, Rajesh Krishnamurthy MD, Peter Minneci MD, MHSc, Katherine Deans MD, MHSc

Computed tomography (CT) imaging protocols and prescribing practices vary across institutions. Pediatric trauma patients imaged at a pediatric trauma center (PTC) may receive less radiation than patients imaged at non-PTCs before transfer. Our objective was to determine differences in radiation exposure from imaging performed at a PTC versus non-PTCs.

This retrospective analysis included patients <18 y old who underwent CT imaging from January 2013 to August 2015 during a trauma-related encounter. Radiation doses from CT scans were estimated and compared between scans performed at our PTC and non-PTCs before patient transfer using propensity score–weighted median regression. Results Of 3530 CT scans, 3021 were performed at our PTC and 509 at non-PTCs. Patients imaged at non-PTCs were older and had higher injury severity (all P < 0.05). Patients imaged at non-PTCs more frequently had [Read more…]

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