Safety

Department of Radiology Maximizes Safety and Efficiency

Radiation in small amounts is safe for radiologists to use on patients when taking images inside the human body. Most radiation experts believe there is a wide safety margin when only one or two studies are done with X-rays or nuclear medicine drugs. Cause for concern increases when many studies are done within a short period of time.

Our physicians carefully administer radiation dosage. We use the most effective amount on patients to ensure physicians receive a clear image and can easily identify any abnormalities.

Natural Exposure to Radiation

Our environment contains sources of natural radiation that expose us to background radiation all the time. The following table shows approximately how much exposure to background radiation carries the same risk as other radiation procedures.

Procedure Background Radiation Number Of Chest X-rays
Chest X-ray 2 days 1
Skull X-ray 3 days 2
Lumbar spine 3 months 35
CT of head 8 months 100
CT of abdomen 3 years 450
CT of sinus 3 months 35
Mammogram 15 days 7
DEXA 1 week 4
Bone scan 18 months 200
Heart 3 years 500
PET scan 28 months 350

Expertise and Experience

To maintain low radiation levels during radiological procedures, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center’s Department of Radiology establishes high standards for its personnel and equipment. The staff must be highly trained and properly licensed or certified by state and national bodies. Individuals must also undergo periodic re-education.

All equipment is monitored on a regular basis to verify that it complies with minimum federal and state standards. Preventive maintenance is also carried out regularly. Additionally, some types of equipment must meet guidelines set by national bodies like the American College of Radiology (ACR).

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