The Importance of Protection from Radiation in Pregnancy

The importance of radiation protection during pregnancy
The importance of radiation protection during pregnancy

Exposure to high doses of radiation during pregnancy can cause congenital abnormalities, risk of miscarriage, growth retardation, mental and physical disabilities, as well as increased risk of postpartum cancer and death.

Yeni Yüzyıl University Gaziosmanpaşa Hospital, Department of Radiology, Assoc. Dr. Aylin Hasanefendioğlu Bayrak gave information about 'The importance of protection from radiation during pregnancy'.

Radiation protection should be the primary goal in pregnancy follow-up.

The methods that are frequently used for diagnosis and treatment follow-up in radiology include radiation (X-ray). However, pregnancy is a very special process in terms of imaging. During pregnancy follow-up, radiation protection should be the primary goal. Ultrasonography is the basic imaging method used in pregnancy follow-up. In ultrasonography, sound waves are sent to the area to be viewed through the probe we use on the patient, so an image is formed on the screen. It can be used safely in any period of pregnancy. Routine follow-up images also create enjoyable moments for pregnant women. However, in cases that cannot be resolved with ultrasonography, MR imaging is the other option.

The MRI device actually acts as a giant magnet, a magnetic field is created in the device compartment where we place the patient (or pregnant woman). The different responses of different tissues to the magnetic field allow us to obtain images on the screen. It is safe because it does not contain radiation. It is superior to other examinations in providing detailed information. However, it is not used in the first trimester (first 3 months of pregnancy) unless it is very necessary. In other months, it should be preferred only in cases where ultrasonography is insufficient. In addition, drugs (contrast material) that are sometimes required during MRI scans in other patients are not used during pregnancy due to possible negative effects on the fetus. So, what should be the approach when a radiation-containing examination is performed in a patient who is not known to be pregnant? In this case, expert opinion should be obtained by determining which body part the shot covers and the radiation value that the patient is exposed to at the end of the shot. If the calculated dose is within the limits that cause harm, the pregnancy should be terminated. In addition, sometimes examinations containing radiation (such as angiography or computed tomography) cannot be postponed until after pregnancy due to the life-threatening situation in the patient, and in this case, the risk to the fetus is minimized with lead barriers placed on the pregnant woman and extraction is mandatory.

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