Posts Tagged ‘Medical Procedures’

Initiative to Reduce Unnecessary Radiation Exposure from Medical Imaging

April 12, 2010

The FDA has recently launched a comprehensive new study regarding ways to reduce radiation exposure as a result of medical imaging.  The on-line article sets the background for the study, then provides comprehensive scientific and medical information for support:

Like all medical procedures, computed tomography (CT), fluoroscopy, and nuclear medicine imaging exams present both benefits and risks.  These types of imaging procedures have led to improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of numerous medical conditions.  At the same time, these types of exams expose patients to ionizing radiation, which may elevate a person’s lifetime risk of developing cancer.  As part of a balanced public health approach, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeks to support the benefits of these medical imaging exams while minimizing the risks.

Through the Initiative to Reduce Unnecessary Radiation Exposure from Medical Imaging, FDA is advocating the universal adoption of two principles of radiation protection: appropriate justification for ordering each procedure, and careful optimization of the radiation dose used during each procedure.  Each patient should get the right imaging exam, at the right time, with the right radiation dose.

The related White Paper discusses types of medical imaging procedures,  factors causing the unnecessary exposure, and proposes possible solutions.  The factors include: Issues relating to Device Use, as well as Issues Relating to Clinical Decision Making.  Solutions include: Promoting Safe Use of Medical Imaging Devices, supporting informed clinical decision making, as well as increasing patient awareness.

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Bill Clinton’s stent procedure – what it’s all about.

February 13, 2010
On February 4, 2010, former President Bill Clinton underwent a surgical procedure to restore blood flow to one of his coronary arteries. According to reports, he had been experiencing chest pain for several days prior to his admission to Presbyterian Hospital in New York. During the hospital admission, imaging studies revealed that one of Clinton’s bypass grafts was occluded. This bypass graft was created during Clinton’s quadruple bypass surgery back in 2004.

To restore blood flow to Clinton’s coronary artery, the surgeons performed a procedure called angioplasty. Angioplasty is a surgical technique used to mechanically widen or enlarge an occluded blood vessel. In cardiac angioplasties, surgeons use balloons catheters. These catheters have a balloon at the tip. During cardiac angioplasty, this catheter is guided into the body and then into the affected blood vessel until the tip of the catheter reaches the blocked area of the blood vessel. At such time, the tip of the catheter is inflated, causing the lumen or the interior diameter of the blood vessel to expand. As the blood vessel is expanded, any fatty deposits on the interior wall of the vessel are crushed and compressed. Then, the balloon is deflated and removed. As a result of this process, the vessel regains blood flow. Sometimes, the surgeon will also install a metal coil or a stent into the affected blood vessel to prevent future narrowing or blockage.

Clinton was diagnosed with a blockage in one of the bypass grafts, which was created during his quadruple bypass surgery back in 2004. This graft serves as a surrogate blood vessel to reroute blood around a blockage in the coronary artery. Clinton’s surgery involved the ballooning of the graft and the installation of two stents to provide for long-term blood vessel support.