Medical imaging refers to the technology used to view the inside of the human body to diagnose and treat medical conditions and diseases. There are several types of diagnostic imaging, all of which provide different information and detail about the specific body part under examination.
Because medical imaging techniques like X-Rays, CT scans, and mammograms use radiation, there will be concerns about the quality and safety of the technology used and the procedure itself. Let’s look at what these concerns are and the measures medical professionals take to ensure patient safety.
Concerns About Radiation Exposure
Radiation exposure is the most common concern when it comes to medical imaging procedures. Your doctor and medical imaging professional consider several factors when it comes to the risk of exposure. Factors include the dose of radiation, your age, sex, and medical history. Generally, the radiation exposure is too low to be of any concern.
Safety Considerations in Medical Imaging Procedures
Before a procedure, a radiologist assesses several factors such as your medical history, current health status such as pregnancy, and the procedure’s necessity. The reason behind checking these things is to ensure that the patient is safe to undergo an imaging examination.
Risk vs. Benefit Assessment
Radiologists and diagnostic imaging specialists ensure that the procedure uses the lowest dose necessary. Most diagnostic imaging procedures generally give off the smallest amount of radiation. For imaging examinations that do give off a large amount, technologists use the lowest possible dose for the shortest time.
As long as it is prescribed appropriately and carried out correctly by a trained professional, the benefit of medical imaging greatly outweighs the risk of radiation exposure. Likewise, undergoing medical imaging performed by a trained professional ensures the quality of the procedure.
Patient Health and History
Before a medical imaging procedure is prescribed or done, your doctor will check your medical history and current conditions. If you frequently have imaging procedures done, such as X-rays, it is best to keep a personal record of this and inform your doctors. Knowing this information will help your doctor in prescribing imaging procedures and avoid duplicate examinations.
Your age is also taken into consideration when prescribing a medical imaging procedure. Younger patients are more sensitive to radiation, and so radiologists take special precautions to lower the exposure. They may also consider alternative procedures that have lower or no radiation involved.
Pregnancy and Medical Imaging
If you are pregnant, it is crucial to inform your doctor immediately as it will help determine if the test is safe for the unborn baby. Knowing about your pregnancy also means that your doctor can better determine the necessity of an imaging examination.
Your doctor will also consider how far along you are in the pregnancy, the type of imaging procedure that needs to be done, and the area being examined. Usually, the medical imaging professional will take extra precautions to ensure that the unborn baby is not exposed.
Ultrasound is a safe diagnostic procedure for pregnant women. It poses no known risks for pregnant women because it uses sound waves instead of radiation. An ultrasound is commonly used when the abdomen or pelvis area needs to be examined.
To ensure patient safety and the quality of images produced through various imaging techniques, imaging teams receive training and continuing education on equipment safety.
Diagnostic testing centers also need to implement quality control tests regularly for the equipment they use.
Diagnostic Imaging in Bronx, NY
Doctors often require diagnostic imaging, as it is crucial in giving an accurate diagnosis and treatment for your condition. If you need a diagnostic scan, our team of board-certified and friendly radiologists and technologists at Starling Diagnostics is here to assist you.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call us today at (718) 319-1610 or fill out our online request form. We look forward to providing you with safe and quality diagnostic imaging services.