We “Image Gently” to Minimize Exposure for Infants and Children
Albany Med’s pediatric radiology team takes part in the nationwide “Image Gently” campaign of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, and follows guidelines for procedures and protocols that minimize x-ray exposure for infants and young children. Our specialized techniques and equipment not only reduce the amount of radiation, but also the time it takes to complete an exam. Our goal: minimal radiation exposure over minimal time without compromising image quality.
Whenever possible, we use ultrasound imaging technology, which uses sound waves instead of radiation to obtain an image for the diagnosis. Ultrasound is very effective when looking for many conditions including evaluation of the brain in infants whose "soft spot" is still open, the abdomen for children with abdominal pain, the hips and spine in young infants, various congenital abnormalities, and a wide range of "lumps and bumps" found by the family or physician on physical examination.
Magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, is another technology that does not use radiation, and has many applications in pediatrics. However, a child must be motionless for at least 30 minutes in order to have an MRI. Children younger than 8 years old needing an MRI usually require sedation. This is provided in a safe environment by our pediatric anesthesia department staff.
CT or CAT Scan
CT (computed tomography) scans use a small amount of ionizing radiation and can take less than a minute to complete. When CT is the best choice for answering a clinical question, we follow "Image Gently" guidelines, using low-dose radiation, adjusted for each patient's size. Young infants and toddlers may require brief sedation. This is provided and monitored by members of our pediatric department physician staff.