New Low-Dose X-ray at Mendy's Place Reduces Radiation for Kids

low-dose x-ray at children's emergency center
The Shimadzu Radspeed low-dose X-ray system reduces radiation exposure for young patients and makes X-ray images available faster, ultimately reducing time spent in the emergency room.

Parents and kids alike are jazzed about the new high-speed low-dose X-ray at the Children's Emergency Center, Mendy's Place, in John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital.

The X-ray, a Shimadzu Radspeed, has digital direct capture technology that uses up to a third less radiation and wirelessly beams the X-ray image in seconds for review on the technician's computer monitor. There, areas of interest can be magnified so the child's injury can best be evaluated.

"We can also change the viewing technique to look at bone or tissue damage without taking additional images," said Rick Mattoon, RT, supervisor of Radiology and CT at the Deer Valley Hospital.

Traditional X-rays show bone or soft tissue, so separate exposures to radiation have been necessary for the physician to evaluate an injury to determine whether an ankle was sprained or broken.

"Manipulating a single image to evaluate both bone and soft tissue," Mattoon said, "reduces the number of X-ray images we need to take, and that further reduces radiation exposure for our young patients."

Because cumulative lifetime exposure to radiation has become an issue for many people, the low-dose imagery combined with the need for fewer images is a real benefit, he said.

Another advantage, the speed of access to the images, means the whole process takes less time. That, combined with the kid-friendly decorations in the upgraded pediatric X-ray suite, makes the medical imaging process much easier for both children and their parents.

"Parents are very impressed with the speed and accuracy of the equipment. Emergency physicians are excited about the quality of the X-ray imagery, which is so good that it assists in moving patients through the ED process more quickly," he said.

Because the images are digital, they can be uploaded into JCL Connect, John C. Lincoln's electronic health records system, emailed to the patient's pediatrician or family physician, or burned on to a disc to be hand-delivered to the family doctor.

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