New IAEA Website for Safe Use of Radiation in Medicine

Around the world, millions of patients benefit from diagnosis and treatment involving X-rays and radioactive substances. To help promote patient safety, the IAEA has teamed with the World Health Organization and a dozen other partners through an International Action Plan to better inform physicians, patients and care givers about the importance of radiation protection in medical care.

Among channels of information is the newly developed website ( that focuses on the radiation protection of patients. The website is designed to serve as an effective clearinghouse of practical information, with the initial emphasis on informing physicians engaged in the use of radiation for medical care.

Already, the initiative has been cited as helping patients - an angioplasty patient, for example, developed an ulcerating injury that was misdiagnosed as a staph infection. When the wound worsened, an emergency room physician diagnosed it as a burn of unknown origin. The patient then found reports on the website about a meeting on radiation protection that helped her and her cardiologist accurately diagnose and treat the real problem.

The topical website is an outgrowth of a comprehensive International Action Plan developed over the past years for the radiological protection of patients. It was established together with international and regional organizations including the World Health Organization, European Commission, and International Commission on Radiological Protection. The pages feature a variety of areas, such as radiography, digital radiology, mammography, computed tomography, interventional cardiology, radiotherapy and nuclear medicine.