Are your kids affected by radiation from medical imaging?

Are your kids affected by radiation from medical imaging?

 The Facts!

In the process of diagnosing an issue, physiotherapists require a variety of ingredients. Most commonly, the story of your injury and our clinical assessment are enough to confirm a diagnosis.  However, sometimes we require medical imaging for more information.

 A frequent question we are asked by parents of children requiring X-rays or imaging is:

“What is the radiation risk to my child and the long term effects”.

Here are the facts from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists :

  • Chest X-Ray has the same radiation as 10 cigarettes smoked and 60km driven on a highway. The risk of fatal cancer from a Chest X-Ray is 1.3 per million people.
  •  CT (computed tomography) of chest is equivalent to 3000 cigarettes smoked and 19,000km on the highway – a higher-powered machine does elicit more radiation.
  •  At present, the best estimate of risk we have is that we expect a 5% increase in death from solid tumours in a population that has been exposed to an equivalent dose of 500 years worth of background radiation. This is approximately equivalent to 100 CT abdomen scans or 50,000 chest X-rays.

Interesting fact:

  • Radiation exposure from 18hour plane flight at 11,000m is equivalent to 20 cigarettes and 80-140km on the highway.
  • Putting this into perspective, a family holiday to Europe will create more radiation effect than 4-5 X-Rays.

The literature does state that because children’s cells are growing and multiplying faster than adult cells they will experience more effect from radiation than adult cells.

We are certainly not advocating for X-rays and imaging all the time. Please always ask your medical practitioner or physiotherapist to explain the justification for imaging and together you can make a decision.

You and your therapists will take into account the injury and benefit of knowing imaging results and mild risks of radiation. When deciding on imaging, one factor that physiotherapists take into account is whether or not a negative or positive result will change the management plan for the patient.

 What are your imaging experiences?

Any unresolved issues?

Please call us today to book your appointment! 03 9820 1324



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