Le Bonehur “child-proofs” radiation in x-rays, scans

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Sometimes it's necessary for children to receive CAT scans or x-rays to help with a diagnosis.

There is a specially trained team at Le Bonheur making sure children are treated and not harmed after getting them.

"There are specialists in all areas that have a different focus. We focus specifically on children," says Dr. Asim Choudhri, Director of Neuroradiology at Le Bonheur.

Children require a lower dosage of radiation in x-rays, according to Choudhri. Le Bonheur's radiology group studies and specializes in getting a picture perfect scan but without the harmful radiation other hospitals or offices may use.

"If they take an x-ray of a child, they may use adult settings. If they do that, one, the child is getting a lot of radiation, and children are more susceptible to potential effects of radiation," says Choudhri.

Also to help with low-dose radiation - as well as fidgety kids - Le Bonheur has technology that allows doctors to get the scans they need in the blink of an eye.

"We can get a CAT scan of the head if we need to in about one-third of a second. That's something that's ... even a few years ago hospitals would take over a minute," says Choudhri.

Ultra sounds are another method Le Bonheur uses to examine children without using radiation.

The hospital continues testing new low-dose radiation methods in clinical trials to make sure the latest and greatest is just that. Choudhri says, "Just because something comes in a shiny box and has bright lights doesn't mean it's better. Sometimes it is; sometimes it's not."

Along with the technology ... Le Bonheur's radiology team has the expertise and knowledge to read scans and x-rays without requiring high amounts of radiation to read them.

"Some of the difficult diagnoses or more subtle things that possibly could be missed by people who may not see some of these conditions all the time, we're used to seeing them, we're trained in doing that," says Choudhri.

Radiologists also say Le Bonheur's Child Life Specialists play a big role in getting a clean scan by helping to distract the kids.