User error, not technological problems, is to blame for cases of excess radiation in computed tomography scans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.
The FDA has been investigating reports that patients undergoing CT brain perfusion scans were accidently exposed to excess radiation. The FDA announced this week it found that when properly used, the CT scanners did not malfunction. Rather, it's likely improper use of the scanners resulted in the overdoses.
Nevertheless, the FDA identified a series of steps intended to enhance the safety of these procedures. The steps could reduce the likelihood of radiation overexposure in the event of CT scanners' improper use.
Back in October 2009, the FDA encouraged CT facilities to review their protocols and make sure that the values displayed on the control panel corresponded to the doses normally associated with the protocol. Based on its investigation to date, the FDA made additional recommendations to facilities. Among them: