As the most common CT examination performed in children, Head CT has garnered the attention of health care experts including pediatric trauma surgeons, pediatric neurosurgeons, emergency medicine physicians, nurses and members of the imaging team across the nation who have teamed together and through an organization called Image Gently, formed the "Think A-Head" campaign.
“All of these groups realized the importance of addressing the use of head CT, which requires radiation,
in the setting of minor head injury in children: if you need to do it, when to do it, and if you decide to use CT, how best to do this. We also need to provide information along the way for other caregivers, and with patients. The Image Gently Alliance especially through the website, is a model for providing that information in this particular setting,” said Donald P. Frush, MD, chair of the Image Gently Alliance, and the Think A-Head Campaign Committee.
The first phase of the campaign that was introduced in November 2016 was informing people about CT use in the setting of minor head injury in children, radiation exposure, and balanced discussion of potential risks. In the spring, the Think A-Head Steering Committee and Image Gently Alliance are looking forward to rolling out their second phase.
“We will have a second rollout this Spring consisting of information that is much more directed to deciding when to perform a CT and how that CT should be performed, since the technique will be different in a one-year-old, versus a five-year-old, or 12 year-old, and this guidance will be part of that campaign. Again, we're preparing peer review publications, presentations, and newsletters in cooperation with a number of organizations,” said Frush.
Frush says that one of the most exciting things about this campaign is the overwhelmingly amount of support they have received from across the medical field.
“So many important experts and the care of children in the emergency setting recognize this as needing to be done, to be able to have an informed dialogue between ourselves and with parents and the public about what we do and why we do it. It’s a shared vision and a shared passion."