Changes in radiological imaging frequencies in children before and after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan
The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has raised concerns about radiation exposure, including medical radiation exposure such as X-ray and CT, in residents of Fukushima.
Materials and methods
We compared the numbers and the ratio of outpatients less than 10 years old who underwent imaging examinations [e.g., CT, X-ray, MRI, ultrasonography (US), etc.] at Fukushima Medical University hospital in Fukushima, Japan before (April 1, 2008–March 31, 2011) and after (April 1, 2011–March 31, 2014) the accident.
The number of outpatients less than 10 years old decreased after the accident. The number of outpatients less than 10 years old who underwent CT and X-ray examinations also significantly decreased after the accident (p < 0.001, p < 0.01, respectively).
Our results suggest that the number of pediatric radiological examinations decreased after the accident in Fukushima. We should continue to communicate with patients and their families to ensure that they understand the risks and benefits of radiological imaging in order to overcome their concerns about the nuclear disaster.
KeywordsRadiological examination Radiation exposure Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident Fukushima Prefecture Children
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