X-rays refer to radiation, particles that travel in a wavelike manner through the air. Other common types of radiation include light and radio waves. Just like radio waves, x-rays have enough energy to travel through solid objects. When x-rays travel through your body, dense objects like your bones absorb more of the radiation than less dense objects like your skin, muscles, and clothing. This means that fewer x-rays travel through dense objects. As the radiation passes through the body, it leaves an image on an x-ray detector. X-ray technicians and physicians read these images to diagnose injuries and illnesses.
Each year, about 70 percent of Americans receive a medical or dental x-ray. In most cases, the x-ray does minimal harm and provides important diagnostic information. However, x-rays may slightly increase a person's risk of contracting cancer later in life. The risk of cancer depends on the amount of radiation a person is exposed to, the age at exposure, and the sex of the person exposed.
- The lifetime risk of cancer increases with amount of radiation used.
- The lifetime risk of cancer increases with every x-ray exam.
- The lifetime risk of cancer is larger for young patients than for older patients.
- Women have a slightly greater lifetime risk than men for developing radiation-associated cancer.
- If the sex organs are exposed to x-rays, the radiation can cause damage to the reproductive cells. Proper precautions should be taken to minimize these risks.
If you were injured in a car crash in Kansas City, it is important that you allow your doctor to perform the tests necessary to diagnose your injuries. In this case, an x-ray may save your life or prevent future disability. You may, however, want to take the following precautions.
- Ask your doctor why you need the x-ray? It should help the doctor diagnose your injury and create your treatment plan. Never refuse an x-ray that is medically necessary.
- Don't ask for an x-ray. Unnecessary x-rays increase your risk of injury.
- Tell the doctor if you are pregnant or might be pregnant. If the doctor doesn't take proper precautions, there is a small chance of harm to your growing baby. If your doctor knows, he can protect your unborn child from the radiation.
- If you need an x-ray of your lower back or abdomen, ask the x-ray technician if you can use a gonad shield. This will protect your reproductive cells from the radiation. For some injuries, the shield may obscure the view needed for the x-ray.
- Keep a record of all your x-rays. Write down the body part that was x-rayed, the date, where the x-ray was done, and which doctor ordered the test. Take this card to your medical appointments. The doctor may be able to use a previous x-ray instead of ordering a new one. He may also be able to order your old x-rays for comparison. You may also want to share this card with your Kansas City auto accident lawyer. Your x-rays may provide important evidence to support your Missouri accident injury claim.
Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?
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