Hospitals should inform patients regarding the radiation exposure they have undergone during CT scan and other such tests rather than keep them in the dark, health experts said.

Pointing out that radioactive elements emitted from radiation transmit highly charged particles that can damage genetic blueprint of the cell, they said such exposure causes major health problems, including cancer.

“At times the cells can no longer function or repair itself and dies but occasionally the cell multiplies uncontrollably, taking the shape of cancer,” chairman of CT and MRI, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, T.B.S. Buxi said.

“Every hospital or diagnostic centre has a data on the exposure level to radiation of a person who has undergone a CT scan,” he said.

He suggested that the government should introduce a policy to share such data with the patient so that he is assured that he has not been over exposed to radiation.

Sharing his views, a doctor with the State-run Safdarjung Hospital said, “CT scans are the biggest source of radiation exposure. Acute or chronic radiation exposure leads to death of bone marrow cells and often causes infertility too.”

A study conducted by AIIMS has found that doctors, including senior and junior residents, who regularly subject patients to X-rays and CT scans were ignorant of the harmful effects of radiation exposure.

“If exposure is mild, it is possible that the patient will suffer from cancer in the near future as this exposure brings in a lot of change in genes, leading to mutation and other abnormalities,” an AIIMS doctor said.

Meanwhile, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, on Monday, introduced a very low radiation CT scanner in the hospital. It emits 40 per cent less radiation compared to the conventional CT scanner.