Pediatric Residents’ and Medical Interns’ Awareness about Pediatric Ionizing Radiation Dose from Computed Tomography and Its Associated Risks in Tertiary Hospital in Ethiopia
BACKGROUND: The international literature on physicians’ knowledge regarding radiation dosages and risks due to computed tomography showed a widespread underestimation of diagnostic radiation doses. Hence, the objective of this work is to assess the awareness of pediatric residents and medical interns about pediatric CT dose and possible risks.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted on May/2016 among year I to year III pediatric residents and 2015/2016 year medical interns attaching Pediatrics Department during the study period in Tikur Anbessa Specialized Referral and Teaching Hospital. Data was collected by distributing standardized structured questionnaires. Finally, after the data was checked for clarity and completeness, it was analyzed by using SPSS software.
RESULT: While the majority (76.3%) of the residents and interns knew that children were more sensitive to radiation than adults, 93.7% did not know that there is currently no annual dose limit set for medical exposure of patients. The majority of the respondents (81.3%) know the risk of cancer from CT scan, but most (60%) of the respondents did not know that many imaging facilities still use adult doses for pediatric patients. Furthermore, 18.8% thought that magnetic resonance imaging involves ionizing radiation, and 8.9% of the physicians associated ultrasound examinations with ionizing
CONCLUSION : Within resident group, since the level of clinical experience did not affect the outcome, we recommend that formal education and training on awareness of radiation with special concern on pediatric population is mandatory especially for pediatric residents and pediatricians who are major caretakers of children.
KEYWORDS: Computed tomography, radiation exposure, awareness of radiation, pediatric CT dose, possible risks of radiation.