Vast majority of X-rays for children useless: Australian study


CANBERRA, Sept. 25 -- Australian doctors are ordering too many unnecessary X-rays for children, a report has found.

The report, compiled by the Paediatrics and Child Health division at the Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP), found that more than 95 percent of abdominal X-rays were not useful for children with stomach pain.

For children with chest conditions, only one out of every 100 X-rays was found to be useful.

The RACP has made a list of 25 recommendations for Australian doctors as part of the Choosing Wisely initiative.

"Our list urges medical professionals to reconsider the need to routinely order X-rays for the diagnosis of bronchiolitis and asthma, as well as nonspecific abdominal pain, in children," Sarah Dalton, President of the Paediatrics and Child Health division of the RACP, said in a media release on Monday.

"Whilst it is all too easy to slip back into our routines and order a test because it is what we've always done', I encourage my colleagues to pause for a second and ask is this X-ray really necessary?

"For any parents who might be concerned about the idea that less can sometimes be more', I would say to them we want to make sure we are only ordering a test when it is medically beneficial for your child."

Choosing Wisely also launched the occupational health recommendations on Monday with Peter Connaughton, President of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, calling on doctors to only declare patients as unfit to work when clinically necessary.

"Where appropriate we are encouraging willing patients to continue working in some capacity as part of their overall healthcare management," Connaughton said.

"We are concerned because people declared medically unfit for work often experience a range of issues including: loss of self-esteem, feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety, as well as poorer physical health and slower recovery times from their injuries." (Xinhua)