Before your child has imaging
Medical imaging is a useful tool to help make or confirm a diagnosis or guide treatment decisions. However, it should only be considered if the benefits for your child are likely to outweigh the radiation risks or other potentially harmful effects.
‘In many common situations, such as mild sports injuries, imaging won’t necessarily provide any benefit — while at other times depending on the symptoms, it can provide critically important information. With symptoms where imaging is justified, the results can be very important in helping to make a diagnosis and inform treatment decisions’
Dr Andrew Boyden, Clinical Advisor at NPS MedicineWise
Points to consider
The doctor requesting an imaging test and the imaging specialist (radiology doctor or nuclear medicine specialist) will consider two important principles: justification and optimisation.
If the potential benefits of an imaging test outweigh the small risks involved, then it is justified and can go ahead. This is a joint responsibility of the requesting doctor and imaging specialist, but should also include a discussion with you.
If an imaging test is justified and goes ahead, it is done using the lowest radiation dose possible. Modern scanners and imaging techniques can result in much lower doses of ionising radiation than were used previously. This is the responsibility of the imaging specialist and technologist (radiographer) but you can discuss how they will minimise radiation exposure if you are concerned.