Number of CT scans have risen 330 percent in 12 years – there’s money in them thar tunnels

By Caleb Garling – August 12, 2011 – Cool Tech

The intensive hospital procedures use has skyrocketed in the last decade.

If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to be an emergency room patient, you likely know how ominous the idea of a CT scan can be. No one wants to be inserted into a narrow tube only to have their body pelted with X-rays.

But a study from the Annals of Emergency Medicine by the University of Michigan Health System has shown that the number of patients going through that process has more than trebled in the last twelve years.

In 1996 only 3.2 percent of emergency patients received CT scans, compared to 2009 where 13.9 percent of emergency patients received the procedure.

“This means that by 2007, one in seven ED patients got a CT scan,” Keith Kocher MD, MPH, said in the press release. “It also means that about 25 percent of all the CT scans done in the United States are performed in the ED.”

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