Reducing Radiation Exposure in Children By Autumn, Estrella, Giovanni, Marissa

Children need special consideration when being exposed to radiation because of their growing cells.

A research study published in 2008 by the Radiation Effects Research Foundation followed a particular group of subjects who were exposed in utero and as a child to the exposure of the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This study found that many of those children developed fatal cancer into adulthood. Another study was conducted on scoliosis patients (mean age is 10) with a mean dose of 0.11 Gy from x-radiation had developed cancer into adulthood.

Due to pediatric patients being more vulnerable to both late somatic effects (cancer) and genetic effects the radiographer should take every precaution to minimize exposure.

In the first year of life, the same radiation for boy procedures add 3 to 4 times for cancer risk as exposure between the ages of 20-50 years.

For females it is 6-8 times

For children in general the risk is approximately 3 times

How can Radiographic Technologist reduce radiation exposure?

  • Smaller radiation dose
  • Proper immobilization methods
  • Faster exposure time
  • Communication
Becoming aware can also reduce patient dose. The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging is a foundation that brings awareness of the need for dose reduction for pediatric patients. The Image Gently Campaign spreads information on pediatrics CT dose reduction.

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