Purpose: The long-term cancer risks for children exposed to radiologic images can be two to three times higher than for adults because children are more sensitive to radiation and have a longer lifetime in which to accumulate exposure from CT scans. Injured children often undergo repeat CT imaging if they are transferred from non-pediatric hospitals to a Level I pediatric trauma center (PTC). This study determined the impact of a statewide web-based image repository (WBIR) on repeat imaging among transferred injured children.
Methods: All injured children who underwent CT imaging and were transferred to the PTC in 2010 (pre-WBIR) and 2013 (post-WBIR) were included. Patient-level factors studied included demographics, body region of scan, Injury Severity Score, and Emergency Department (ED) disposition. Change from pre to post on rate of repeat imaging was assessed.
Results: Two hundred fifty-four and 233 children, with a median age of 7.3 years, were transferred to the Children's Hospital in 2010 and 2013, respectively. Repeat imaging levels at the PTC were lower post-WBIR than pre-WBIR (20% versus 33%, odds ratio [OR] 0.54, P = .005). Images of the head decreased most significantly (60% versus 33%, OR 0.33). Images performed at Level II and III trauma centers were repeated less often after WBIR.
Conclusions: The WBIR significantly reduced repeat imaging among injured children transferred to a PTC, especially children transferred from Level II and Level III trauma centers, children with lower-acuity injuries, and children with initial scans of the head. Radiation savings are expected to be beneficial to children.
Keywords: Repeat CT; transferring hospitals; web-based image repository.
Copyright © 2016 American College of Radiology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.