Hospital X-Ray terms designates ionizing electromagnetic radiation, incapable of being visualized by the human eye, being capable of passing through opaque bodies and printing photographic films of what is found. It’s an ability to penetrate matter is all the greater, the higher the voltage, the lower the density, and the lower the average atomic number of said matter traversed.
Hospital X-Ray: A bit of history and importance in diagnosis
Hospital X-ray are corpuscular radiation of the same nature as radio waves, microwave waves, infrared rays, visible light, ultraviolet rays, and gamma rays. The current fundamental difference with gamma rays is their origin, since gamma rays are radiations of nuclear origin, which are produced by the non excitation of a nucleon from an excited level to another of lower energy and in the disintegration of radioactive isotopes. While X-rays arise from extranuclear phenomena, at the level of the electronic orbit, mainly produced by deceleration of electrons.
Hospital X-ray are a form of electromagnetic radiation that has a shorter wavelength than visible light. They were discovered in the year 1895 by the German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, who was experimenting with cathode ray tubes and discovered that he could produce an image of the bones in his hand using these rays.
The true importance of hospital X-ray in medical diagnosis lies in their ability to penetrate the human body, and produce images of internal tissues and organs. Hospital X-ray can detect changes in tissue density, allowing doctors to diagnose a wide variety of conditions, from bone fractures to lung disease and cancer.
That is why, hospital X-ray are a relatively fast and cheap diagnostic tool compared to other diagnostic methods, such as magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography. This allows doctors to get results in a few minutes, which can be crucial in emergency situations.
However, it is important to note that the hospital X-ray can also be harmful in large amounts, as they can damage cells and increase the risk of cancer. Therefore, it is essential that they be used sparingly, and that measures are taken to minimize radiation exposure, such as the use of protective equipment and limiting the time of exposure to X-rays.
What are the 5 benefits of hospital X-ray compared to other diagnostic methods?
There are several benefits of hospital X-rays compared to other diagnostic methods, some of them are:
X-rays are a non-invasive method, which does not require surgical procedures or the insertion of instruments into the body, which minimizes the risk of complications and benefits the decrease in patient recovery time.
2. Fast and efficient:
Hospital X-Ray can produce images in a few seconds, allowing clinicians to make a fast and accurate diagnosis and make immediate treatment decisions.
Normally, radiography is a very accurate diagnostic tool that allows health professionals to detect injuries, fractures, tumors, infections and other diseases early and accurately.
Hospital X-ray can be used to diagnose a wide variety of medical conditions, from bone fractures to heart and lung disease.
5. Low cost:
Compared to other diagnostic methods, such as MRI or CT scan, X-ray is cheaper and more accessible to most people.
What are the risks of radiation exposure from X-ray examinations?
The effects of X-radiation on biological organisms depend on the value of the dose. In general, exposure to low doses of X-rays, such as those received during a conventional radiography, are not harmful. Higher doses can cause the characteristic damage of ionizing radiation.
Digital radiographs and especially computed tomography of the thorax or abdomen, together with interventional studies (fluoroscopies, hemodynamics, among others) imply in some cases high doses of radiation, so the basic principle known as ALARP (“As Low As Reasonably Practicable”).
What can it cause in the body?
- Radiation-induced cancer: It can result from receiving small doses over long periods of time, as is the case with radiologists and technicians. However, the probability of radiation induced cancer is low and much lower, for example, than that of cancer induced by smoking.
- Effects on pregnant women: Strongly depend on the period of pregnancy being considered. The most risky periods are from the sixth day to the eighth week, when malformations can occur; which, however, have a low probability, and especially from the eighth to the fifteenth week inclusive, when radiation can affect the nervous system and cause mental retardation.
- The amount of radiation received: The higher the radiation dose, the greater the risk of developing different kind of health problems.
- The age of the patient: Children and adolescents are more sensitive to the effects of radiation, since their cells divide more frequently than those of adults.
- The type of X-ray exam: Some X-ray exams, such as a CT scan, may involve more radiation exposure than others.
- The frequency of X-ray examinations: If X-ray examinations are performed frequently, the cumulative risk of radiation exposure may be greater.
- Other types of effects in the body, such as cataracts due to excessive doses in the eyes: very unlikely in patients, they should involve care and controls in the workers in the area. X-ray induced cataracts, for example, are almost completely avoided with the use of lead lenses.
In order to minimize the risks of radiation exposure in X-ray examinations, techniques and equipment are used that allow the radiation dose to be reduced, and its use is limited as much as possible. It is important that patients inform their physicians of any previous X-ray examinations they have received, and that they follow the physician’s instructions regarding the need to with the frequency of X-ray examinations.
Advice for patients who are going to have a hospital X-ray:
If you are going to have a hospital X-ray, here are some tips to help you prepare for the procedure and ensure that it goes smoothly:
- Inform your doctor about any medical conditions or medications you are taking.
- Follow the instructions of the healthcare provider.
- Remove metal objects.
- Relax and stay still during the procedure.
- Ask any questions or concerns about the X-ray.