|Jeffrey P. Clarke, MD|
We here at ACH subscribe to the Image Gently campaign which is a nationwide movement started over the last several years to recognize, quantify, and reduce the amount of radiation dosage that children receive for medical imaging. The radiology department at All Children's Hospital is a strong proponent of this movement and has taken steps to reduce radiation as much as possible when performing imaging studies on children. The long term side effects of low levels of radiation acquired during medical imaging are not completely understood. The effects including cancer risk, however, are thought to be potentially more concerning in children as they have developing and growing bodies in addition to longer time to live than their adult counterparts.
In radiologic imaging, the majority of radiation is associated with CT scans(head, chest, abdomen, and pelvis) or fluoroscopic evaluations( Enemas, VCUGs, SBFT, UGIs)
In CT scanning we here at ACH have worked extensive to reduce our dosages. We achieve this by several methods including specific software packages with the scanner, specific pediatric and weight based protocols, using alternative modalities such as MR and ultrasound when possible, and working closely with your physician to not only decide on the most appropriate imaging but also reduce unnecessary exams when possible.
In fluoroscopy we use a special "pulsed" technique to reduce radiation and we are always aware of (and document) the amount of fluoroscopic time being used.