Referring doctors knowledge about radiation doses in patient | 17944
International Research Journals

Referring doctors knowledge about radiation doses in patients undergoing common radiological examinations


A. Ahidjo, I. Garba, Z. Mustapha, A.M. Abubakar, U.A .Usman

In the present day scenario, radiation dose from me dical imaging has come under scrutiny both in the medical and public press. This is as a result of th e increased cancer risks associated with radiation as well as cases of excess radiation exposure from adv ance radiological equipment like CT scans. Therefore, this study assessed doctors’ knowledge o n patients’ radiation doses during radiological investigations on medical imaging equipment namely: conventional x-ray machine, CT, mammography, MRI and ultrasound in two tertiary institutions. Th is was a prospective study conducted at Maiduguri North Eastern Nigeria. A questionnaire was designe d and distributed to all cadres of medical doctors apart from Radiologists. Radiological investigatio ns were listed, and participants were asked to estimate equivalent doses using the dose of postero -anterio chest x-ray as a reference. Questions on knowledge of hazard of radiation, radiation measurem ent units, and use of referral guidelines were also included. A total score was aggregated for each que stion. A total of 81 questionnaires were distribute d, and 65(80.2%) were returned. The participants that indicated their gender consist of 33.2% females and 64.6% males. Most of the doctors 96.9% are aware of radiation hazard, but only 38.5% knew its units of measurement. However, 58.5% are not aware of referr al guidelines for imaging, and also 80% are unable to estimate doses for most of the radiological exam inations. Only 14% of the doctors knew that MRI does not use ionizing radiation. The findings of th e study revealed that most of the doctors are aware of radiation hazard, but did not know the amount of rad iation dose received by their patients during radiological investigations. There is need to train doctors on radiation protection and its inclusion in the curriculum of medical schools especially in the dev eloping countries where regulation may be poor. The introduction of referral guidelines is pertinen t to success of radiation protection.

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