Are X-Rays Safe?

Over 125 years ago, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen made a monumental discovery that changed medical practices forever. He was the first man to see the results of using radiological rays as a non-invasive way to investigate inside a human being’s body.

With the help of Röntgen’s discovery of what is today commonly known as X-rays, medical science has been able to advance at an accelerated rate. In the modern world, just about every person has experienced having an X-ray in one form or another.

X-ray technologies have advanced at a staggering rate in the past 125 years, and so has their uses. Professionals depend on X-rays in dental offices, doctor’s offices, chiropractic offices, hospitals, urgent care, and other medical service facilities.

With the medical community using X-rays so frequently, the public must understand the types of radiation we encounter and the risks involved with radiation exposure.

The air we breathe, soil and water, rocks, and plant life all have radiation. Radon is natural radiation found in soil and can be potentially harmful to humans. Cosmic radiation (which includes X-rays) constantly penetrates the earth’s atmosphere and is all around us. Cosmic radiation is unavoidable but is at low levels.

We have no choice but to live with the natural and cosmic radiation exposure, but X-rays are a choice we need to evaluate.

When professionals take a diagnostic X-ray, the image reflects on the X-ray negative plate depending on how much radiation is absorbed. The reason bones appear white on the negatives is because bones have a high calcium content that absorbs the radiation.

 

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With all X-rays, ionizing radiation is used, potentially harming living tissue. Radiography is the most commonly used X-ray imaging and uses the smallest amount of radiation. Professionals use radiography to image bones, teeth, and chest X-rays.

Fluoroscopy also uses a small amount of radiation, but more than radiography. Professionals use fluoroscopy with barium drinks to watch how the body acts and reacts during digestion.

Computed Tomography, or CT, uses the highest amount of radiation. The higher radiation is because, during one procedure, the CT mechanism takes multiple X-rays.

If used appropriately by a professional, the benefits of having X-rays taken far outweigh any risk of radiation exposure. Using X-rays, medical staff can detect cancerous tumors, infections, and damaged blood vessels. The risk of developing cancer from the ionizing radiation of X-rays is small.

Even with the low risk of cancer from X-rays, patients receiving medical treatment involving radiation should ask questions and communicate their medical history to their provider. Also, when providers recommend X-rays for children, ask the technician to double-check that the X-ray machinery has been adjusted for a child. Risks are more significant for children than for adults.

Even though studies show the low dose of radiation from X-rays–when used appropriately—does not cause health problems, X-ray technology is improving every day. Researchers are discovering ways to reduce radiation dosage, improve imaging, and create better materials and methods of imaging.

 

Vesta Radiologists

We work with healthcare offices that provide x-rays as a diagnostic tool. We help them interpret their findings so they can continue to service their patients in a timely manner. Look to Vesta’s US Board Certified Radiologists to help take on any workload you need taken care of, nights, days and even weekends.

Vesta Teleradiology Presents Informative White Paper on Transitioning from ICD-9 to ICD-10

Vesta Teleradiology releases a white paper, entitled “How to Make Your Transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 a Seamless One,” for the purposes of providing guidance to physician practices as they prepare to transition and “go live” with ICD-10 on October 1st.

icd 9 to icd 10

The white paper located at vestarad.com/mediablog/blog incorporates preparatory practices as well as answers to common questions for those practices who have found themselves less than adequately prepared for the transition. The white paper provides those all-important answers that will allow those practices whom are not quite prepared to continue to bill under old ICD-9 codes and be reimbursed, so long as specific criteria are met. Specific guidance is delineated in the white paper.

Vijay Vonguru, President, Vesta Teleradiology, knows how apprehensive many providers are feeling about going from some 13,000 diagnostic codes to 69,000 codes, but states that “in the end the changes are for the betterment of patients and providers alike, in that it will serve to streamline referrals and approvals on diagnostic testing, as well as gather epidemiological data” and “this information should hopefully alleviate some of the resistance surrounding the upcoming transition”.

For those practices who having done the hard work and started last year in preparation for the transition, with tutorials for their physician, billing and ancillary staff, coordination with their vendors of EMR software and technical support: Kudos to them and their teams as they are one step ahead of the game. There is still some time for preparation, and utilizing the tips provided in the white paper will help the practices prepare for the October 1st deadline!

 

ICD-9
Are you ready for the transition?

About Vesta Teleradiology:

Vesta offers teleradiology solutions and services, providing 24x7x365 access to their highly qualified Board Certified Radiologists through a secure PACS.

Vesta has been a pioneer in supportive diagnostic workflow technology and quality diagnostic services. The team is steadfast in their passion to remain at the forefront of innovation in healthcare. Prospective clients are offered a free test drive of Vesta’s teleradiology service.