IAEA Virtual Technical Meeting - 19-23 October 2020

IAEA Virtual Technical Meeting - 19-23 October 2020  


Director of Professional Practice Mr Stewart Whitley reports on this important meeting to address the topic of the Justification and Optimization of Protection of Patients Requiring Multiple Imaging Procedures and development of corresponding Joint Position Statement and Call for Action.  

 

IAEA Technical Meeting 19-23 October 2020  

Director of Professional Practice Mr Stewart Whitley reports on this important meeting to address the topic of the Justification and Optimization of Protection of Patients Requiring Multiple Imaging Procedures and development of corresponding Joint Position Statement and Call for Action.  

Overview

Over 90 registered participants and experts attended this meeting including 72 participants from 21 IAEA member States and 11 international organisations and international bodies. 

The purpose of the event was to review the latest data on patient exposure from recurrent radiological imaging and to agree on the further guidance and actions needed to strengthen justification and optimization of protection of patients whose medical conditions require multiple imaging procedures.

Central to the meeting is the concern that the with the wider utilization of radiation exposure monitoring systems, information has become available recently that the number of patients who accumulate effective dose of 100 mSv and higher in a few years from recurrent computed tomography procedures is greater than previously known and might concern nearly one million patients globally per year and one out of five such patients is likely to be below 50 years of age. 

This meeting, in fact, was one of many Technical Justification and Optimization meetings held over the years at which ISRRT has made many contributions. Additionally, the meeting was held to consider the IAEA draft ‘Joint Position Statement and Call for action for strengthening radiation protection of patients requiring recurrent radiological imaging procedures. 

There were excellent presentations dedicated to bringing more understanding to the following objectives: - 
•    What we currently know about radiation doses and risks in recurrent imaging
•    Identification of needs for guideline development
•    Deliberate on technology advances that can result in the optimization of protection for patients with recurrent procedures
•    Learn from local experiences and position of different group of professionals and patients
•    Identification of fields for future research on recurrent imaging

The meeting ended by referring to the latest draft position statement with the task now of completing it with the opportunity of organizations to add further suggestions.
This was a truly a historic meeting.

 

ISRRT Contribution 


On Thursday 22nd October, the focus for the day was on ‘Improving justification, optimization and communication in clinical settings: learning from experience’. In the afternoon Stewart was able to speak at the session entitled ‘Information and actions from professional organizations.’ Representatives from the International Society of Radiologist (ISR), Image Gently, International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP) and European Federation of Organizations for Medical Physics (EFOMP) also presented.   

Stewart outlined what ISRRT had accomplished in terms of its many programmes and initiatives in developing and promoting an understanding of the radiographers/radiological technologist role in the Justification and Optimization processes and promoting standards in QA/QC in CT, Mammography and Digital Radiography. He also drew attention to the many positioning statements that had been published including justification and optimization and those related to the safety of patients – illustrating the justification flow chart algorithm outlining all the stakeholder roles.  

 

JOINT POSITION STATEMENT AND CALL FOR ACTION FOR STRENGTHENING RADIATION PROTECTION OF PATIENTS REQUIRING RECURRENT RADIOLOGICAL IMAGING PROCEDURES PURPOSE

The purpose of this Position Statement is to provide guidance for medical conditions that require recurrent radiological imaging, with the goal that patients receive the needed medical care without being exposed to unnecessary radiation risk. Recurrent radiological imaging is justified in many clinical conditions. However, this heightens the responsibility of authorities, manufacturers and health professionals to develop and implement suitable strategies and solutions focused upon radiation protection for groups of patients that may undergo recurrent medical imaging procedures. 
ISRRT was invited to contribute to the development of the Joint Position Statement associated with the meeting, which consisted of several other organizations contributing including the WHO. The position statement will soon be finalised and will provide a number of important actions that are needed to address this important topic.

Participants were invited to suggest a suitable ‘acronym’ for a program that may be an outcome of the technical meeting. ISRRT has made a suggestion but we wait for the final decision and the publication of the final position statement and call for action. These will be circulated as soon as they are available.

Reported by Stewart Whitley

Director of Professional Practice