New Federal Guidelines Seek to Limit CT Scans on Kids

For the first time, federal officials have issued clinical guidelines for healthcare providers trying to determine if a child has a concussion, recommending that CT scans not be used routinely to diagnose these conditions.

In New Jersey, a growing number of hospitals and providers have already adopted similar protocols in an attempt to accurately diagnose head injuries and protect young patients from unnecessary radiation. As a result, fewer Garden State kids — including scores of student athletes — are getting unnecessary scans today.

CT scans, or computerized tomography scans, use a relatively small amount of radiation to create cross-sections of the body or brain. They have become a critical tool for assessing tissue damage in millions of children nationwide, including thousands of New Jersey youngsters each year.

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