As a parent, my job is to protect my three children and make sure they are safe. As a pediatric radiologist, my job is to protect all children. You may have noticed that the media has heightened public awareness of radiation risks and the need for minimal radiation exposure in medical imaging – especially in children.
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin has one of the nation’s leading radiology programs for children. By participating in the Image Gently Campaign, we are helping to promote ways and means to achieve the lowest radiation exposures while maintaining high image quality. Our goal is to make sure each child receives the right test, in the right place, at the right time.
Some of the techniques we use to ensure the lowest radiation dose for your child during an exam include using low-dose radiation equipment adjusted for pediatric patients. We review every exam before it is performed. On several pieces of imaging equipment, we can monitor our patients’ radiation exposure over time.
We weigh the benefit of a more detailed image, which can result in higher radiation exposure, against a not so clear image, which has good diagnostic information but lower radiation exposure. The more information our radiologist has about your child’s diagnosis, the more tailored an exam can be.
If your child needs an imaging exam, here are five questions you should ask your doctor.
- Is the radiologist specially trained to treat children?
- Do the technologists know how to get the best images in children?
- What steps are taken to reduce exposure to my child?
- Will my child be scared or uncomfortable?
- Will a doctor be present to supervise sedation if needed?
Be sure to read our answers to these important questions.
I’d also like to hear from you. Post a comment below with your experiences or questions.
~ Sara Arnold, MD, pediatric radiologist, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin