MEDICAL EXPOSURE OF THE POPULATION FROM DIAGNOSTIC USE OF IONIZING RADIATION IN LUXEMBOURG BETWEEN 1994 AND 2002

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Abstract

Abstract—

A national evaluation on radiation doses from diagnostic procedures (x rays and nuclear medicine) was conducted in Luxembourg for the period 1994–2002 aiming at the estimation of the annual collective dose. The calculations were based on a survey of frequencies of more than 250 types of radiological examinations and included more than 425,000 patients. This evaluation ensured the practical implementation of Article 12 of the European Directive 97/43/EURATOM, which obliges the Member States to determinate the population dose from medical exposure. The results show an increase of the annual effective dose per capita from 1.59 mSv in 1994 to 1.98 mSv in 2002. The impact of computed tomography to dose received from medical use of radiation has dramatically increased in this time period. Luxembourg has one of the highest computed tomography examination rates compared to other health care level I countries. The following measures to minimize medical exposures were proposed in the study: medical physicists should have a more central role to play in patient dosimetry in interventional and diagnostic radiology, especially concerning computed tomography. Also, the implementation of an electronic “X-ray patient card” for all irradiated patients—except dental—and the use of the European referral criteria that give guidance and recommend investigations in various clinical settings can both help to decrease medical radiation exposures.

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