In the ER, the doctor insists on it. Maybe you should push back.
When you find yourself unexpectedly in a hospital’s ER, you might not be in a position to question the medical necessity of a CT scan. But if there is time for debate, ongoing research suggests it is in your best interest to at least inquireif there is a better alternative, such as an X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, “watching and waiting,” or obtaining a second opinion.
CT scans are powerful diagnostic tools, but they aren’t always worth the inherent risks. Their usage has increased considerably, with fewer than 3 million done each year in the 1980s and 80 million per year currently.
That is a 2,500 percent increase, Consumer Reports noted in a 2015 investigation. The report also found that one-third of the 80 million CT scans taken every year lack medical backing.