X-rays use radiation to make a picture. Radiation is all around us all of the time wherever we are. Some parts of the country have more radiation than others depending on the rocks in the ground and we all get radiation from the sun (called background radiation).
A very low dose of x-rays are used when obtaining images in the PMH Radiology Department. Too many x-rays are potentially harmful but ‘too many’ is generally many, many more times than are used in an x-ray department. We take every precaution to keep x-rays to an absolute minimum using state of the art digital equipment specifically for children. The radiographers and radiologists are all specially trained to use very low dose techniques. Our recorded levels are among the lowest in the world.
Having a chest x-ray in our department is equivalent to approximately one to two days of background radiation (as if you are two days older than you actually are) and CT scans and angiograms deliver slightly higher doses.
Any examination using x-rays is only performed if there is a clinical need and if the benefits of the examination far outweigh any risk. All x-ray requests are checked by a radiologist to ensure they are necessary and useful to your requesting doctor.
If you have any questions please ask the radiographer or radiologist before they start the test. Always tell the staff if your child has had the same examination recently to check that it is still required.
The following leaflets explain about x-rays and are available for download from the Western Australian Health Department Website.
Please be aware that information on websites may not be specific to our practice at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children. Please just ask us when you arrive.