Spotlight on Pediatric Safety

October 1, 2013 | Evaluations & Guidance


​We highlight three articles that examine different aspects of pediatric patient safety.

More than half of parents of children presenting to an urban, tertiary care children’s ED with head trauma underestimated the amount of radiation delivered during CT, according to a study published in the August 2013 issue of Pediatrics. However, the percentage of parents who were aware that CT scans can raise a child’s lifetime cancer risk was about 50%; this was noticeably higher than in an earlier study, which reported parental awareness of 13%. In addition, more than 90% of participating families indicated that they preferred to be informed of potential risks before proceeding with recommended ionizing diagnostic imaging for their children.

Despite the greater awareness of cancer risk, 90.4% of the 742 participating parents were initially willing to proceed with CT scanning for their injured child. However, after risk disclosure, the percentage of willing parents dropped to 69.6%. Of note, 35.3% of parents indicated that they would not have any further thoughts about recommended CT testing if the...

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