William T. Thorwarth Jr., MD, FACR, chief executive officer of the American College of Radiology, contributed this post.
I want to thank all radiologists, allied professionals and health care workers on the front lines of our efforts to fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) is monitoring communications from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and other reliable sources to keep you informed on the latest medical and radiological community guidance to help you protect patients and providers from COVID-19.
As such, the COVID-19 Radiology-Specific Resources section on ACR.org will be continually updated to offer access to critical, up-to-date information for all radiologists. I’ve also outlined the latest guidelines below:
Rescheduling Non-Urgent Care
The ACR fully supports and recommends compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDS) guidance that advises medical facilities to “reschedule non-urgent outpatient visits as necessary.” This includes non-urgent imaging and fluoroscopy procedures, including but not limited to: screening mammography, lung cancer screening, non-urgent computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, plain film X-ray exams, and other non-emergent or elective radiologic and radiologically guided exams and procedures. Radiologists should work with their referring physicians to review and reschedule such exams.
Chest radiography and computed tomography (CT) should not be used to screen for or as a first-line test to diagnose COVID-19. Instead, CT should be used sparingly and reserved for hospitalized, symptomatic patients with specific clinical indications for CT. Radiologists should familiarize themselves with the CT appearance of COVID-19 infection in order to be able to identify findings consistent with infection in patients imaged for other reasons.
Reducing Risk of On-Site COVID-19 Infection
Please review these resources:
- Journal of the American College of Radiology — Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak: What the Department of Radiology Should Know
- Radiology — Radiology Department Preparedness for COVID-19: Radiology Scientific Expert Panel
- CDC Guidance — Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings
I encourage you to bookmark the ACR’s COVID-19 Radiology-Specific Resources, share them with your colleagues, and monitor updates from CDC, WHO and other reliable sources at your institutions.
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, and join the discussion on Engage (login required).