From broken bones to more serious things, millions of children get an X-ray every year, but safety is a concern.
“Too much radiation can certainly increase your risk of cancer into adulthood. And I think patients are particularly vulnerable when they grow, ”said Dr. Michael Glotzbecker, Head of Pediatric Orthopedics at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
X-rays expose your child to less radiation than during a flight. But about every eighth scan ordered for children is a CT scan that takes multiple images and can deliver radiation doses up to 200 times higher than an average x-ray. Doctors are now working with the new X-ray technology EOSedge, which takes high-resolution 3D images with less radiation.
“It is very important for pediatric patients because it reduces the amount of radiation you receive compared to standard x-rays by almost 85%,” said Glotzbecker.
This technology is already used for adults and can take two pictures from the front and the side at the same time and convert these pictures into 3D.
“This is very important for certain orthopedic diseases, especially when planning the operation,” says Glotzbecker.
The EOSedge is currently only used in a few children’s hospitals in the country, but technology like this is expected to become the standard of care in the near future.
According to doctors, the cost and size of the machine are two factors preventing some hospitals from moving to the new technology. They say if your local children’s hospital doesn’t have the technology yet, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor if another test that uses less radiation could give the same information.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, executive producer