Pediatric Radiologist wants safer method used in kids - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Pediatric Radiologist wants safer method used in kids

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A pediatric radiologist, new to Albany, wants to bring a new way of thinking when it comes to treating the smallest patients.

Dr. Peter Taylor wants more physicians to use ultrasound technology before moving to more dangerous ways of diagnosis and detection that put radiation into their little bodies that could create health problems years down the line.

It's been a rough three weeks for 7-year old Ashlyn Robinson. She stepped on a toothpick, and half of it broke off into her foot. Ever since, doctors have been trying to find it and dig it out.

Mom Angela said, "We've had a CT scan and an x-ray that didn't show anything, so the toothpick's actually been in there about three weeks."

Thursday, Ashlyn's doctor recommended she see Dr. Peter Taylor, a pediatric radiologist. In just seconds, he was able to find that pesky little problem. Using ultrasound isn't new, but Dr. Taylor says it isn't used as a primary method enough, especially in kids. He said, "It's underutilized pretty much all over the country, but especially at non-children's hospitals."

That's something he hopes to change at Phoebe Putney by encouraging pediatricians and other physicians to use ultrasound before using a method that will put radiation into kids tissues.

Dr. Taylor said, "Their life expectancy is very long and if we cause radiation damage now, there's plenty of time for that to end up becoming a cancer somewhere down the line."

While it won't always detect the problem, he believes ultrasound should be the first option, not a last resort. "The last thing we want to do is do harm in the course of finding out what is going on with the child."

Now Ashlyn can finally be treated and get well.  Angela said, "We're happy that he used that process and found that it's still in there." So now he can get it out, and little Ashlyn will feel better again.

Emergency room physicians did use ultrasound when Ashlyn first came into the hospital... but they didn't see the toothpick. Another benefit to using ultrasound versus CT scans and MR-I is that it is typically cheaper.

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