Monday, November 29, 2010

Tough To Say No To CT Scans In Emergency Rooms : Shots - Health News Blog : NPR

A trip to the emergency room today is likely to trigger a round of routine diagnostic tests from blood work to an electrocardiogram to a urine sample. And increasingly, there's one more on that list: the CT scan. A new study shows that CT, or computerized tomography, has increased in ERs nearly six-fold since 1995 and shows no sign of tapering off.

A CT scan of the brain
Andrew Ciscel via Wikimedia Commons

A CT scan of the brain shows the cerebellum, a small portion of each temporal lobe, and the sinuses.

CT, a radiology tool that once took nine days to finish, was used 16.2 million times in 2007 to diagnose headaches, stomach aches, back pain, chest pain and the like. That was a huge increase from 1995 when it was used 2.7 million times, according to the paper published online in the journal Radiology.

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