Bethesda Hospital East

Medical Radiation Safety

 

Medical Uses for Radiation
Radiation is a fact of life. We live in a world where radiation is naturally present everywhere, and everyday we are exposed to small amounts of natural background radiation that is emitted from soil, rocks, building materials, air, water and even cosmic radiation.


Ionizing radiation has two very different uses in medicine – for diagnosis and for therapy. Both are intended to benefit the patients and with any use of radiation, the benefit must outweigh the risk.


Medical x-rays have increased the ability to detect disease or injury early enough for a medical problem to be managed, treated, or cured. When applied and performed appropriately, these procedures can improve health and may even save a person’s life.


Our Commitment to You
Bethesda is proud to be a pledge member of Image Gently® and Image Wisely™, national campaigns promoting imaging safety. The guiding principle for doctors and radiographers in reducing radiation dose is “As Low As Reasonably Achievable”. Once you go for examination, the radiographer or equipment operator is required to take certain steps to protect you and him or herself from unnecessary exposure. You will be informed about the process you are about to undergo with important instructions that will help ensure the best possible image. The operator will then adjust the device to ensure that the dosage is as low as reasonably achievable, taking things such as your weight and size (if applicable) in account to produce the desired outcome.


Safety guidelines include:

  • Image when there is a clear medical benefit
  • Use the lowest amount of radiation for adequate imaging based on size of the child/patient
  • Image only the indicated area
  • Use alternative diagnostic studies (such as ultrasound or MRI) when possible

 

There are countless areas where the power of radiation and nuclear techniques has been harnessed for the benefit of mankind. Your questions and concerns are important to us, so feel free to speak to one of our staff members who will be happy to give you further information.

 

For more information, call Bethesda's Centers for Advanced Imaging at 561.737.7733, ext. 84577.