As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) is a radiography standard that requires radiography technicians to keep patient radiation exposures as low as possible. Radiation exposure from digital X-ray is minimal and do not pose any serious risks to individuals.
Medical guidelines, however, take extreme scenarios as a guide to improve existing imaging practices.
This blog will discuss the potential risks of using radiation, the importance of ALARA and how DR imaging equipment can help with ALARA compliance.
The Significance of ALARA
Radiation exposure has the potential to alter patient DNA, increase the risk of cancer and might cause many other physical symptoms. According to the FDA, radiation overexposure can possibly cause the following conditions:
- Small increases in the possibility of developing cancer later in life.
- Tissue malformation like hair loss, cataracts and skin conditions.
These assessments were made based on exposure to high doses of radiation after nuclear bombs, however these are great case studies to reduce health risks from X-rays. ALARA stands for a commitment to reduce the exposure to high levels of radiation during imaging, to continue improving on existing techniques despite low risks.
ALARA and Medical Imaging Systems
X-rays are a form of radiationused to capture diagnostic imaging. Over the years, physicians and imaging experts have attempted to reduce radiation exposure, to minimize the risk of health problems arising from said exposure. These attempts led to the development of increasingly sensitive X-ray detectors, which use lower radiation exposures to produce high quality images. At this moment, DR flat panel detectors are the most sensitive equipment in the industry which reduces radiation exposures without compromising image quality.
How Does DR Reduce Radiation Exposures?
Digital flat panel detector have some of the highest Detective Quantum Efficiency (DQE) ratings compared to conventional and computed radiography. This implies that DR detectors require lower radiation doses to capture equally as clear images as any other method of X-ray imaging. DR detectors have DQE ratings of about 70%, compared to 25% DQEs of CR.
The Need to Use DR for ALARA Compliance
The medical practice is always plagued with complicated ethical questions that physicians and image technicians must answer before making a patient-related decision. ALARA is one of those questions, which may not have any practical significance but keep the medical industry innovating and improving. Using DR is essential for all hospital practices to keep alive the spirit of improving patient lives and reducing the risks associated with medical treatment.
ExamVue is a supplier of cost-effective digital radiography system for medical and veterinary practices. We offer DR flat panel detectors, X-ray image acquisition software, and a patented PACS to support our Digital Radiography Systems. Get in touch with us today for more information on our services.