Chicago Sun Times
April 5, 2011

Soaring numbers of kids are getting CT scans in emergency rooms, a study has found, raising concerns that some of them might be exposed to adult-sized radiation doses and an increased risk of developing cancer.

The number of ER visits nationwide in which children were given CT scans surged from about 330,000 in 1995 to 1.65 million in 2008 — a five-fold increase. The number of kids’ ER visits didn’t increase measurably during the study, but the percentage of visits involving CT scans went from about 1 percent to almost 6 percent, according to the study, reported Tuesday in the journal Radiology.

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Increases in CT scan use also have been found in adults.

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