Experts, clinicians and parents around the country have agreed that we should minimize the exposure of children to radiation during medical tests such as CT scans. It is estimated that 30 children who get a CT scan each year could develop cancer during their lifetime as a result of the radiation exposure. But there is an alternative for evaluating common conditions like acute abdominal pain in children. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Pediatric Surgical Association, and the National Cancer Institute all recommend using alternatives to CT scans, like ultrasound, as a first test to identify conditions such as appendicitis. But, in Washington State, over 50% of children who go on to have an appendectomy receive a CT scan as their first imaging study in the diagnosis of appendicitis.
Safe and Sound strives to improve the availability, use, and quality of ultrasound for appendicitis in kids.
We aim to increase use of ultrasound as the first imaging study for children with appendicitis by 50% over 1 year by increasing the availability of ultrasound in hospitals, galvanizing public and payer pressure to increase the use of ultrasound, and providing training so that clinicians and technologists are more confident and skilled using ultrasound in kids.
We are conducting a statewide public health campaign to reach our goal of Ultrasound First! in children with appendicitis. To do this, we are engaging all relevant stakeholders (clinicians, parents, hospital leaders and payers) in a broad action-oriented coalition and leveraging relationships and resources from many sources. Our collaborative includes emergency medicine physicians, surgeons, radiologists, pediatricians, ultrasound technologists and hospital leaders.
Contact us for more information and to get involved!