Imaging and Safety
Your Safety and Radiation Exposure
Our patients’ safety is paramount at AAR, and we take strong measures to ensure each patient is treated safely throughout their exam center experience.
Each of our team members, whether it be a technologist or radiologist, is specially trained in their specific exam or imaging modality and continually participates in ongoing education, becoming more familiar with new protocols or updated health care indicators associated with their modality.
AAR’s imaging equipment and imaging centers are accurately maintained and must meet high measures of industry standards set by government and health care officials. Upgrades to software and medical imaging machines are completed on a regular basis to meet strict guidelines.
AAR also evaluates the risk versus benefit of any exam before it is performed. Generally, radiation doses from imaging exams are relatively small as compared to the diagnostic information and clinical benefit obtained from most exams – far outweighing the risks. Our exams are conducted in a controlled setting and are targeted to limit radiation exposure to a specific part of the body. A patient’s history and age are major factors taken into consideration and evaluated before the exam.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, most people in the United States receive an annual radiation dose of about 320 to 360 millirem (used to measure radiation); 80% of that is from natural sources such as elevation, soil, rocks, radon gas, human bodies, or plane trips. Imaging procedures typically account for the remaining 20%. The typical chest x-ray is comparable to taking a flight from Charlotte to Los Angeles.
Studies have shown no increased risk of cancer among people who experience up to 1,000 millirems of background radiation each year.
Below are some common imaging procedures and the radiation risks associated with them. Please keep in mind each modality’s radiation dosage varies by study based on the part of the body.
Radiation Information by Exam
DEXA scanning uses less radiation than other exams and the radiation is less than that of a chest x-ray or a cross country flight.
Improvements have been made to decrease radiation exposure from mammograms to the lowest level possible. The radiation from a mammogram is equivalent to 40 millirems. To put that in context, the average person is exposed to 70 millirems of radiation every two months just from everyday living.
3D breast tomosynthesis is comparable to and could be lower than conventional two-view-full-field digital mammography
Ultrasound uses sound waves to image patients and does not use radiation. There is no radiation risk for an ultrasound exam.
A mild dose of radiation is used to perform this study; and a plain chest x-ray is comparable to a cross country flight. Low exposure.