Medical Imaging Techniques That Require X-Ray Aprons

The controlled use of radiation in medicine has made it possible to treat and diagnose many different problems without requiring invasive and traumatic surgery. These machines have increased the accuracy of some medical procedures and have allowed a more complete understanding of the systems within the body. High levels of exposure to radiation can be harmful. Most of the devices that are used in medicine do not emit enough energy to cause any problems in patients. One issue that does arise, however, is when a medical professional must operate these machines for hours every day for multiple patients. This is why doctors and nurses must wear x-ray aprons for protection when using some of the equipment.

X-Ray

Computed Tomography (CT)

This is one of the most frequently used diagnostic techniques in larger hospitals. A CT scanner sends x-rays from a rotating generator that spins around the body. The beams are received by a special device that constructs a two-dimensional (2D) image of a single slice of the body. The scanner or the patient is then slowly moved so that multiple sequential images can be taken. A computer can then combine these slices so that doctors can have an accurate three-dimensional (3D) view of the structures inside of the body. X-ray aprons are necessary for anyone operating this machine because of the high amount of energy that is scattered around the room while scanning takes place.

Angiography

Angiography is a type of imaging that is used to see exactly how blood is moving through the body in real time. The process involves injecting a special contrast agent into the veins or arteries that can then be viewed through fluoroscopy or other techniques that use x-rays to quickly image the area being examined. It is very important for medical professionals who are performing this procedure to wear x-ray aprons, because the imaging technique is sending many bursts of energy out every minute. Angiography is unlike some other procedures because the doctors must actually be in the room and next to the patient in order to inject the contrasting agent and to possibly insert stents for treatment.

X-Rays

Standard x-rays are used to take static 2D images of a single part of the body. This can be used to detect broken bones, fractures or irregularities in dense tissue. These machines tend to have a broad radiation scattering pattern, so medical professionals need to wear x-ray aprons for protection against the ambient radiation. It is not uncommon for hospitals to provide patients with x-ray aprons as well to protect areas of the body that are not being x-rayed.

Article by : Jeremy P Stanfords

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