Fewer X-rays Recommended for Children

NEW ORLEANS, May 19 (UPI) — An 18-year-old U.S. researcher recommends fewer chest X-rays for children on home mechanical ventilation.

Wynton Kun, working with his mentor, Dr. Thomas Keens at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, analyzed the number and effect of chest X-rays in 28 children age 8 months to 16 years and found a child averaged five chest X-rays over a single hospitalization with pneumonia. However, two-thirds of those X-rays did not result in any change in therapy within 24 hours, and the majority of discharges were not contingent on X-ray findings.

“We should critically evaluate the economical and clinical outcomes of chest X-rays being taken on the population of children with pneumonia who are dependent on home mechanical ventilation,” Kun said in a statement.

The teen — who graduates from high school this month — presented the study findings at the annual international conference of the American Thoracic Society in New Orleans.

Kun said he put aside his video games for the summer and his mother, a registered nurse at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, suggested working for Keens, who help Kun develop his own research project.

“Dr. Keens showed me a whole new world — he told me to go out every day and do something useful,” Kun said.

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