Tag: CT

  • We’re still doing too many head CTs on children with headaches

    Many, myself included, have written about the overuse of head computed tomography (CT) scanning in children. This concern has become more focused now that we have some data on the radiation risk of those scans. The bottom line is not that we should stop doing head CTs in children, but that we should always balance…

  • New information about radiation from CT scans and cancer risk

    I’ve written before about the increased risk for future cancer, if any, of diagnostic radiation (here , here, and here). These posts have generated a large number of comments and questions from parents. Most take the form of fear they have needlessly increased their child’s future cancer risk by agreeing to a CT scan. A…

  • Acute sinusitis in children: causes and treatment

    The sinuses are air-filled cavities in our skulls. They are important for a couple of reasons. For one thing, they help warm and humidify the air we breathe in through our nose. For another thing, they make our skulls lighter; if those sinus cavities were solid bone we would have a much heavier weight to…

  • Malpractice: how likely are doctors to get sued in their careers?

    Nearly everyone has heard about the medical malpractice controversy. Most doctors call it a crisis, saying, among other things, that physicians are retiring early because of it or altering their practice — not taking on what they might see as patients more likely to sue. Nonphysicians aren’t so sure about that. What is clear is…

  • Reducing radiation exposure in x-rays for children: the Image Gently program

    I’ve been doing this blog for three years, and by far the post that has provoked the most interest is this one, about the safety of x-rays. The comments, now at 102, keep steadily coming. Google tells me that the most common search string that brings folks here is some variant of the question: “how…

  • Concussions in children

    Football season is upon us again, so it’s time to think about sports injuries. We frequently have children admitted to the PICU (or to what we call the intermediate or step-down unit) for observation, typically overnight, who have struck their head. They have had concussions. What is a concussion, and what does it mean for…

  • Why we doctors order far too many scans

    There’s a provocative editorial in a recent New England Journal of Medicine about the explosive rise in high-tech medical imaging. Everyone knows doctors order a lot of CT scans, MRI scans, and ultrasound studies, and that the number of these has been steadily increasing. And the cost is enormous. From the article: ” . .…

  • CT scans and cancer: thinking about the meaning of risk

    I’ve written before about how to think about the risk of x-rays that we doctors do — here, here, and here. These posts, particularly the first one, are the most read and commented upon ones I’ve done since starting the blog over two years ago. Some recent articles in the medical literature have got me…

  • Thinking about risk

    I’ve recently been looking over the statistics about this blog. The most popular posts are those which talk about common issues — croup and concussions, for example. But one of the most often read posts gets its popularity from people using search engines like Google to answer this question: how risky are x-rays, especially CT…

  • We are all of us — different

    I recently had an experience of the sort any experienced physician has now and then. One of the doctors in the emergency department asked me to come down and help evaluate a small boy with breathing difficulties. The child indeed was breathing hard, although he was holding his own for the moment with the help…