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Image Gently® and SNM “Go With the Guidelines” Campaign to Help “Child-Size” Pediatric Radiopharmaceutical Dose

Reston, VA (Nov. 15, 2011) — The Image Gently® campaign and the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) have launched the “Go With the Guidelines” campaign to encourage community hospitals, academic hospitals and clinics to observe new North American Guidelines for Nuclear Medicine Radiopharmaceutical Dose in children. The dose recommendations, calculated on a ‘straight’ weight basis, have been tested in children’s hospitals and are compatible with high-quality imaging and further dose reduction in the first decades of life.

“Standardization helps ensure that all pediatric nuclear medicine providers consistently get quality medical images while using the lowest amount of radiation possible. I can’t encourage nuclear medicine providers strongly enough to take advantage of this very important tool,” said S. Ted Treves, MD, strategy leader of the Image Gently/SNM initiative and chief of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging at Children’s Hospital Boston.

With the launch of the “Go With the Guidelines” campaign, the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging reiterates this central Image Gently message: As children may be more sensitive to medical radiation than adults, and cumulative radiation exposure to their smaller bodies could, over time, have adverse effects, radiologists who perform nuclear medicine imaging exams on children, are urged to:

Follow the North American Guidelines for Pediatric Nuclear Medicine
Determine the appropriate radiopharmaceutical dose based on body weight
Take the pledge to Image Gently

“The new guidelines are a great accomplishment. The priority now, is to focus on bringing these guidelines to the attention of the rest of the nuclear medicine community, especially to medical practitioners in our general hospitals. We want everyone to perform quality nuclear medicine with the least amount of radiation delivered to the patient as possible,” explained Frederic H. Fahey, DSc, president-elect of SNM and director of Physics in Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging at Children’s Hospital Boston

To foster awareness, Image Gently and SNM are distributing thousands of 11x14-inch posters that remind medical practitioners to use these new guidelines for 11 frequently performed imaging studies in children. Posters are provided at no cost and can be found inside various medical imaging journals this fall (2011). The poster can be downloaded now from the Image Gently website (www.imagegently.org).

“The new poster and dose recommendations should be helpful in reducing dose in hospitals and clinics, especially in facilities that perform limited numbers of nuclear medicine procedures in children,” said Michael J. Gelfand, MD, past president of SNM and chief of nuclear medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

A companion Image Gently/SNM publication, “What You Should Know About Pediatric Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Safety,” can help families gain a better understanding of the complex factors involved in providing safe, effective nuclear medicine exams to children.

“The development and dissemination of effective dose-lowering guidelines such as these is of utmost importance. Radiologic technologists interact directly with the patients to carry out these life-saving exams. I strongly urge all ASRT members who practice in the nuclear medicine field to become familiar with the new guidelines and make sure others are aware of them as well,” said Dawn McNeil, M.S.M., R.T.(R)(M), RDMS, RVT, CRA, president of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists.

The new nuclear medicine guidelines are available on the websites of the SNM (www.snm.org), ACR (www.acr.org), SPR (www.pedrad.org) and at www.imagegently.org.

For more information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson, please contact Heather Curry at 703-390-9822 or PR@acr.org.

Heather R. Curry
Communications Specialist
American College of Radiology
(703) 390-9822 Office
(703) 343-6666 Cell

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