From broken bones to something more serious, millions of children get an X-ray each year but safety is a concern.
“Too much radiation certainly can increase your risk of cancer into adulthood. And I think patients are particularly susceptible when they are growing,” said MD Chief of Pediatric Orthopedics at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Dr.Michael Glotzbecker.
X-rays expose your child to less radiation than you get on an airplane flight. But about one in eight scans ordered for kids is a CT scan that takes multiple images and can deliver radiation doses that are up to 200 times higher than an average X-ray. Now doctors are working with the new EOSedge X-ray technology that takes high-resolution 3D images with less radiation.
“It's really important for pediatric patients because it reduces the amount of radiation that you get compared to standard X-rays by almost 85%,” Glotzbecker said.
Already used for adults, this technology can take two images, front and side at once, and can turn those images into 3D.
“That's really important when it comes to certain orthopedic conditions, particularly when we look at surgical planning,” Glotzbecker said.
The EOSedge is being used in just a few children’s hospitals in the country right now, but technology like this is expected to become the standard of care in the near future.
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Doctors say the expense and size of the machine are two factors that limit some hospitals from converting to the new technology. They say if your local children’s hospital does not yet have the technology, don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare provider if another test, which uses less radiation, could provide the same information.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Executive Producer