How often and how many times can you do an x-ray?
How many times a year you can do an x-ray? The answer to this question depends on many factors. It is necessary to consider the patient’s age, purpose and type of study. Do not forget about contraindications. So, pregnancy significantly limits the ability to diagnose injuries and illnesses and is a direct ban for the screening.
In SanPiN 18.104.22.1682-03 is clearly defined in only a radial load at prevention research (see below). If the x-ray acts as a method of diagnosis of diseases, the number of images is not limited to specific numbers. However, there are recommendations aimed at reducing radiation exposure to the patient and prevention of negative consequences of radiation.
X-ray allows viewing of the bone, and the use of contrast and most of the internal organs. However, x-rays and having a negative impact on the patient’s body. Of course, to provoke radiation sickness frequent radiographs is extremely difficult. The acute form of the disease develops under irradiation in doses less than 1 Gy (1000 mSv). For chronic radiation sickness minimum load threshold and below is 0.1-0.5 G/day (100-500 mSv/day). However, the total dose should exceed 0.7-1.0 G, and the radiation act on the body continuously for a long time.
Perform diagnostic radiographs is not accompanied by such a high radiation exposure. The dose received by the patient in one study is in the range of 0.01 to 1.6 mSv and 0.01-0.2 mSv for film and digital images, respectively. Under CT or fluoroscopy load increases. In the first case, the dose ranges from 0.05 mSv during the examination of the maxillofacial region, up to 14 mSv in the study of the digestive tract. In the second – from 3.3 mSv during the inspection of the chest up to 20 mSv in the study of the digestive tract 1 application.
However, small doses of radiation is not harmless. The possible consequences are not limited only to deterministic effects (radiation sickness). Irradiation causes damage of the genetic apparatus, which in the future may cause tumors, including malignant. Mutation affecting sex cell, will affect the health of the offspring. Unlike deterministic effects, the above effects have no threshold dose that must be exceeded and do not manifest immediately. But this does not mean that any, even the slightest exposure, in a few years will result in the patient’s cancer. The size of the dose affects only the probability of this outcome. However, the consequences may not be.
Radiation exposure experienced by the patient when performing radiographic studies, are insufficient for developing life-threatening complications. And strict compliance with the recommendations on decrease in negative influence of x-ray radiation makes the onset of the long-term effects are unlikely.
How to reduce radiation load on the patient?
Safe radiation dose for the patient according to SanPiN 22.214.171.1242-03 equal to an average of 1 mSv/year for the last 5 years and should not be more than 5 mSv/year. Executing preventive studies exceeding of these indicators is not happening. The radiation dose during fluoroscopy is 0.05 or 0.5 mSv for digital or film camera, respectively, radiography of the mammary glands – 0.05 or 0.1 mSv.
However, according to clinical indications in the case of illness or injury may be assigned additional images, fluoroscopy, CT. If necessary, the assessment of pathological changes in dynamics research often is conducted repeatedly, the same area of the body exposed to radiation more than 2 times. This, of course, greatly increases the radial load on the patient. For example, if you do an x-ray of the spine at the level of the lumbar spine in 2 projections on the film camera, the resulting dose would be 1.4 mSv, which exceeds the safe value of 1 mSv/year.
How often can I do an x-ray to not go beyond the recommended indicators? During the appointment x-ray the physician should consider the dose that will be received by the patient in the study. However, the paramount diagnostic value of the method to specific cases. If x-rays are the indications and it cannot be replaced by another of comparable informative and safer method, the research must be performed.
In this situation special attention should be paid to measures that reduce radiation dose:
- The time of the study. Radiation exposure should be short. For this reason, you should avoid fluoroscopy.
- Reducing the number of images. This can be achieved by eliminating projections that are not critical for the visualization of specific pathology. If you want to view 2 or more zones, you can try to make the picture exciting few neighboring areas. Of course, if it will not affect the informativeness of the study.
- The purpose of re-examination must be justified, and the consequences of the waiver do not exceed the risk of adverse events.
- The use of remedies.
The cumulative dose should not exceed 500 mSv. If this has happened or the last year the patient made shots at 200 mSv, further research is limited.
We should not forget about contraindications. X-ray without contrast is allowed in almost all patients. It cannot be assigned only to pregnant women, but in this case exceptions are possible. If the failure of the study will entail serious consequences for the patient and other diagnostic techniques will not help to give the necessary information about the disease to abandon the procedure undesirable.
Matters and pregnancy. Possible x-rays should be postponed until third trimester. If you cannot do that, the runs with the greatest possible protection of the fetus from the radiation.
X-ray examination, designated as clinically indicated, is performed as many times as required. So to answer the question of how often you can do an x-ray of the lungs and other organs, is not so simple. All depends on the situation.
X-rays in children
How often can I do an x-ray to a child? For patients older than 14 years of applicable recommendations for adults. In the examination of children below that age should avoid procedures associated with irradiation. If you still want to make child x-ray methods are preferred with the least radiation exposure. So, x-rays children not assigned. Preventive study (fluoroscopy) allowed patients older than 14 years. To do a chest x-ray to a child below that age can only be indicated. Special attention is paid to radiation protection. In infants and children younger should be shielded all the body except areas under examination.
Performing x-ray young patients is difficult. And although at 2 years the child already understands adults to obtain the cooperation of young children is usually problematic. In this case we have to resort to fixing the patient with the help of special devices or to attract mates. X-ray children under the age of 12 years is done in the presence of chaperones, usually the parents.