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An Assessment of Both Patients and Medical Staff Awareness of the Risks of Ionizing Radiation from CT Scan in Cameroon

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Document pages: 11 pages

Abstract: Objectives: To assess the patients and health personnel’s level of awareness on risks related to ionizing radiation during CT scan. Materials and methods: Three questionnaires were addressed to patients, prescribing physicians, and the medical imaging staff for three hospitals respectively. This permitted us to assess their knowledge on the benefits and risks of the required medical exam, based on the dangers of being exposed to X-rays, especially induced-radiation cancer following the amount of X-rays received during a CT scan and the possibility of not receiving radiation as tools of diagnosis. Results: 150 patients, 84 referring doctors of CT scan tests and 60 medical imaging personnel were retained. For patients, only 7.1 received information on the benefits and risks of their exams, and 34.4 believed that x-rays were harmful to their health. For the prescribers, 46.7 took into account the benefits risk ratio before prescribing a test and only 16.7 of the referring doctors have informed the patient of the risks related to X-ray. 90 of the medical imaging staff ensures that the required test is justified, and 50 informed the patient on the risks associated with their radiation exposure, and the increased risk of developing cancer. 65 of the imaging staff could not estimate the dose that the patient will receive during the medical test. 25 mentioned the dose received during the acquisition in the patient’s exam report. Conclusion: This study confirms that the referring doctors, the patients, and the radiologists have a low knowledge concerning the risks associated with radiation exposure during a CT scan assessment. We will therefore say that patients and prescribers are not aware of the doses of radiation on CT and their possible risks, even though there is a risk of developing cancer.

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