The Food & Drug Administration said Tuesday that it will be taking steps to regulate the three most potent forms of medical radiation. With that, it will require that manufacturers of certain CT scanning equipment redesign machines to incorporate safeguards aimed at reducing patients’ exposure to radiation.
The decision comes on the heels of several recent alarming reports of accidental overdoses of radiation from miscalibrated CT scanning machines.
Last October, Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles disclosed that more than 200 patients had accidently received extremely high levels of radiation during CT scans of their brains. The FDA later stated that patients were exposed to eight times the amount of radiation typically used during the a CT scan, and that accidental exposure to very high amounts of radiation can cause severe injuries, such as burns, radiation induced hair loss, cataracts, and cancer.
The agency has since been investigating similar reports in other states. Companies that would be affected include General Electric Co., Siemens AG and Toshiba Corp.