You may notice the next time your child gets an x-ray at Cincinnati Children’s. We have been using an x-ray ruler called calipers to help the technologist measure the thickness of the body part they are imaging. This measurement is quick and painless and helps the technologist to determine the amount of radiation (x-rays) that is used for your child’s image. In the past, technologists were limited to selecting the imaging parameters based on the patient’s age or an estimate of his or her size. Because we know kids come in all shapes and sizes, the calipers give a more exact measurement of your child’s size and allow us to use just enough radiation to achieve quality images.
Our protocol is based on research. Our radiology department has its own physicist who researches and verifies the amounts of radiation needed to obtain diagnostic images for children of all sizes. The technologist takes the measurement and uses the information to select the option determined by the physicist to use the least amount of radiation needed to get the best image.
The expertise of our physicist, combined with our technologist’s use of calipers results in lower radiation for your child and more consistent image quality for the radiologist!
Writing – original draft by Christopher Alsip, (RT) and writing – review & editing by Glenn Miñano, BFA