OPEN ACCESS - Pediatric imaging issue of Journal of American Osteopathic College of Radiology (JAOCR), January 2015. Guest edited by Dr. Bernard Laya. Articles are divided into three sections: 1. Review articles, 2. Case Reports, and 3. Viewbox articles.
Mini-Symposium - “World Federation of Pediatric Imaging: Outreach in the Developing World”. Issued May 2014
Coordinated and edited by Prof. Savvas Andronikou, this mini-symposium features a series of short commentaries and papers from pediatric radiologists around the world who are active in WFPI or in other outreach activities. In the words of Dr. Peter Strouse, Pediatric Radiology Editor, "As you read, you will be struck by the disparity between wealthy countries, where most of us live and work, and the developing world, where health care resources are sparse and help is needed. These disparities are even more striking if one considers the sheer number of children who live in underserved areas of the world."
This mini-symposium aims to expose the readership to the work of WFPI and related outreach activities and convey a greater sense of the needs, the opportunities that exist, the challenges ahead and the accomplishments to date.
Above all, this international production reflects WFPI's primary purpose: communication and collaboration between pediatric imaging physicians via their organizations. This is the volunteer-based nucleus driving WFPI outreach forward. We hope our authors fuel its expansion, along with the ever-closer union on which our future work depends.
Worldwide, an estimated 3.6 billion diagnostic medical examinations, such as X-rays, are performed every year. This number continues to grow as more people access medical care. About 350 million of these are performed on children under 15 years of age.
Using radiation in medical imaging can save lives and prevent the need for more invasive procedures, but inappropriate use may lead to unnecessary and unintended radiation doses for patients. Because children are smaller and have a longer lifespan than adults their risk of developing radiation-induced effects is greater.
“If patients and families are not properly informed about the risks and benefits of an imaging procedure, they may make choices that are more harmful rather than beneficial to their health, such as refusing a CT that is needed or demanding a CT that is not justified,” says Dr Maria del Rosario Perez, a scientist with WHO’s Department of Public Health.
To improve safety WHO launched a Global Initiative on Radiation Safety in Health Care Settings in 2008 with the aim to mobilize the health sector towards safe and effective use of radiation in medicine. One key priority is to improve the communication of radiation risk in paediatric imaging to ensure an effective and balanced benefit-risk dialogue between health care providers, families and patients.
A free, downloadable WHO publication, “Communicating radiation risks in paediatric imaging: Information to support health care discussions about benefit and risk”, aims to help health-care providers communicate known or potential radiation risks associated with paediatric imaging procedures. The document provides several approaches to help medical professionals answer questions, like “How much radiation will my child receive?” and “How much medical radiation is too much?”