X-rays are a type of radiation that are created using large amounts of electricity. X-rays pass through the body and create images based on how many x-rays get absorbed and how many pass through. These images can be used to check for diseases or to act as guidance for therapeutic procedures like pain relief injections.
In radiology today most imaging modalities are digital. MRI, CT Imaging, PET, and Ultrasound, all offer high-resolution digital images that can be shared and distributed widely. Digital x-ray now allows one of the most common types of basic imaging exams in digital format, making routine x-ray more efficient and convenient for your Physicians.
The Digital Radiography (DR) system allows Radiographers at SSC to perform general x-ray while capturing all of the clinical data electronically.
SSC clinicians have instant access to these digital images in their rooms and on the wards.
There are no medical conditions that would make having an x-ray unsuitable. However, for women who are or might be pregnant, it is advised that certain x-rays are not undertaken other than in emergency situations.
We are all constantly exposed to radiation from our surroundings, e.g. outer space (cosmic radiation), from materials in the earth and from gases (like Radon, in the air we
Natural sources of radiation make up over 80% of the radiation dose we receive each year in Ireland, medical examinations contribute 13.5% of the radiation dose.
Medical examinations that use radiation in SSC include routine X-rays, CT scans, fluoroscopically guided procedures (like some pain injections or surgeries) and DEXA scans.
MRI and Ultrasound DO NOT use ionising radiation. SSC does not carry out any examinations that use radioactive material i.e. you will NOT be ‘Radioactive’ after any examination in SSC.
The radiation doses used for X-ray examinations are many thousand times too low to produce immediate harmful effects.
The only effect on the patient that is known to be possible at these low doses is a very slight increase in the chance of cancer occurring many years or even decades after the exposure.
Each individual X-ray examination carries a level of risk. To estimate the effect of having many examinations, the risks for each one are simply added together. It does not make any difference whether you have a number of X-rays in one day or spread over many years, the total risk is just the same.
Female patients of childbearing age will be asked to comply with clinic protocols to limit radiation effects to an unsuspected pregnancy. If you are unsure whether you are pregnant or not, please mention this to the radiographer before the start of your examination.
Medical imaging can bring very real benefits to patients. The overriding concern of your doctor and the Radiology Department is to ensure that when radiation is used, the benefits from making the right diagnosis or injecting the precise area outweigh any small risk involved