Kiev survey: three questions on radiation safety in medicine

Probably, there is not a single person who would never undergo diagnostic procedures using ionizing radiation. This group of studies includes preventive fluorography, radiographs of all parts of the body, fluoroscopy, radionuclide diagnostics, computed tomography, and minimally invasive surgery under x-ray control. So whether fear and lack of knowledge of citizens regarding radiation safety is real, we decided to check by hearing the opinions from people of Kiev, who have kindly agreed to take part in the survey.

Olga, 64 years old, retired

For which medical procedure: MRI, ultrasound or CT need to be used ionizing radiation? Which is more harmful to health?

“MRI. But, probably, ultrasound is also dangerous. “

Is the dose person receives during the fluorography differs from the dose from the permanent natural radiation? If differs then how much?

“If necessary, we are forced  to do X-rays once a year. We do it. And how it affects – we do not know. “

Would it be useful to create a database of personal doses that people receive from medical exposure throughout their lives?

“Of course it would. I think everyone would use it because it’s serious.”

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Nikolay, 66 years old, retired

For which medical procedure: MRI, ultrasound or CT need to be used ionizing radiation? Which is more harmful to health?

“So, CT is ionizing and MRI too. But they are more accurate than ultrasound. ”

Is the dose person receives during the fluorography differs from the dose from the permanent natural radiation? If differs then how much?

“I’d say something, that we still have Soviet X-ray machines, which emit of a radiation many times larger than a person needs. Me, for example, do not take fluorography, but do only X-rays, because I am very large, they say. ”

Would it be useful to create a database of personal doses that people receive from medical exposure throughout their lives?

“Basically, it is interesting, but it is in so far. We cannot change anything. ”

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Alexey, 21 years old, student

For which medical procedure: MRI, ultrasound or CT need to be used ionizing radiation? Which is more harmful to health?

“Ionizing? CT and MRI. ”

Is the dose person receives during the fluorography differs from the dose from the permanent natural radiation? If differs then how much?

“I think worse. – What is worse? – Natural radiation is worse than fluorography. “

Would it be useful to create a database of personal doses that people receive from medical exposure throughout their lives?

“Of course. It would be very meaningful for patients who undergo a preventive examination.”

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Natalia, 54 years old, doctor

For which medical procedure: MRI, ultrasound or CT need to be used ionizing radiation? Which is more harmful to health?

“Ionizing? How did you said? CT scan, ultrasound scan and MRI? … Ultrasound scan definitely does not use the ionizing radiation. CT probably. “

Is the dose person receives during the fluorography differs from the dose from the permanent natural radiation? If differs then how much?

“In fact this is very complicated correlation. It is necessary to take into account the dose at the moment and frequency of fluorography. If person undergoes it twice in a life, then this dose will probably does not affect as the increased local dose.”

Would it be useful to create a database of personal doses that people receive from medical exposure throughout their lives?

“Yes, it would be useful because it is important for health.”

Style and spelling of the origin are kept.

Nadezhda, 44 years old, lawyer

For which medical procedure: MRI, ultrasound or CT need to be used ionizing radiation? Which is more harmful to health?

“Ionizing? It is necessary to know some special information to understand. I am not an expert, I do not know. Probably, MRI, I think, although, probably, it is magnetic resonance tomography. I do not know. Listen, I feel like a techno-frog. I do not know.”

Is the dose person receives during the fluorography differs from the dose from the permanent natural radiation? If differs then how much?

“There is special knowledge is necessary, I have not such an information.”

Would it be useful to create a database of personal doses that people receive from medical exposure throughout their lives?

“I think yes. Definitely. See, you caught me off guard, I can not answer. I do not own the information, but in fact, probably, it is important. We all want to live long, happy and healthy. ”

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Ludmila, 58 years old, retired

Which medical procedure: MRI, ultrasound or CT requires the use of ionizing radiation? What is more harmful to health?

“CT.”

Is the dose person receives during the fluorography differs from the dose from the permanent natural radiation? If differs then how much?

“Differs. Far more.”

Would it be useful to create a database of personal doses that people receive from medical exposure throughout their lives?

“Well, I do not know for whom. Probably for those who work in medicine. They are often exposed of radiation. For the average people, it would be also interesting to reduce the impact of these X-rays on themselves. ”

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Alexander, 22 years old, student

For which medical procedure: MRI, ultrasound or CT need to be used ionizing radiation? Which is more harmful to health?

“Ionizing radiation is used in CT. The most harmful of them is CT. “

Is the dose person receives during the fluorography differs from the dose from the permanent natural radiation? If differs then how much?

“Of course it does. Upward. And it is necessary to gradually abandon fluorography, since this is a method of relative diagnostics. Very small films, on which it is problematic to identify abnormalities, plus they are made in large numbers, there could be, say, 20 films in a short time, and that also affects the diagnostic results. Therefore, it is more rational and more competent – to do conventional chest radiography. To put it bluntly, irradiation dose by this procedure is even less than with fluorography, and as a result, because of better effect, is preferable.”

Would it be useful to create a database of personal doses that people receive from medical exposure throughout their lives?

“I think people why they refused … an MRI was called a nuclear magnetic tomogram. Why abandoned the word “nuclear”? Because it scares patients, they think: “My God, this is radiation, this is very harmful.” In fact, in the physical aspect itself, MRI ionizing radiation, basically, is not used. It seems to me that the best way is when the doctor conduct the radiation exposure, divided patients into groups, and it is better for patients not to delve into it. Without being a medical employee, I would not understand this anyway. That is, I would see some numbers, I would know this dose, but what all this tell me when I am just a person without special knowledge? Yes, one can go on the Internet, read about it, but one will not be able to correlate information with the data. People are divided into groups, depending on whether a person could undergoing additional research. For example, after the radiation therapy, whether it is possible to make additional radionuclide research. This is useful. But only the doctor must control the dose of each patient, and not the patient himself. The patient cannot order the treatment for himself, come and say: “I want radionuclides.” He can not order a radionuclide diagnostics. Therefore, I do not see the point.”

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Oleg, 27 years old, freelancer

For which medical procedure: MRI, ultrasound or CT need to be used ionizing radiation? Which is more harmful to health?

“Nuclear. I don’t know any more. ”

Is the dose person receives during the fluorography differs from the dose from the permanent natural radiation? If differs then how much?

“No, there is no differ. This is not only my opinion, I’ve read many materials on this topic. Here, as if … well, it affects a person. Very much affects. Even when you pass at the airport. Doctors themselves say that it is not recommended that x-rays be taken very often. I think it affects. “

Would it be useful to create a database of personal doses that people receive from medical exposure throughout their lives?

“Not. And what will it give me? Well it will not give me anything. I will not become healthier, it will not become easier for me, that’s all. ”

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Daria, 27 years old, restaurateur

For which medical procedure: MRI, ultrasound or CT need to be used ionizing radiation? Which is more harmful to health?

“So, X-ray, I know it for sure. Ultrasound? Maybe an ultrasound. Magnetic resonance imaging definetely not, does not use. Probably only X-ray. ”

Would it be useful to create a database of personal doses that people receive from medical exposure throughout their lives?

“I think this is obviously a fluorography. Of course, a lot  depends on where you are geographically located. I know, for example, that in Brazil, the radiation background is much higher than in Ukraine.”

Would it be useful to create a database of individual doses that people receive from medical exposure for a lifetime?

“I think that most likely it is not. After all, even when you are on a plane, you could get a higher dose of radiation, just … That is not something that has accumulated in you and holds there. It still goes away with time. As from the same X-ray radiation. “

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Maria, 61 years old, pensioner

For which medical procedure: MRI, ultrasound or CT need to be used ionizing radiation? Which is more harmful to health?

“We had done a MRI, it has shown everything clearly.”

Is the dose person receives during the fluorography differs from the dose from the permanent natural radiation? If differs then how much?

“Natural? Yes, yes, natural kills. From now on, everything is clear. ”

Would it be useful to create a database of personal doses that people receive from medical exposure throughout their lives?

“Yes? Very useful. In my 61 I continue to learn. Because the disease came unexpectedly, so would be great for people to be aware.”

Style and spelling of the origin are kept.

 

Uatom.org Editorial Board comment:

1. For which medical procedure: MRI, ultrasound or CT need to be used ionizing radiation? Which is more harmful to health?

Talking about this three procedures, only computer tomography has an ionizing effect.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound diagnostics (USD) and computed tomography (CT) are three basic methods of visualizing internal organs and human systems used in medicine. The principle of all three procedures is based on the use of waves, which in fact have a completely different origin and, accordingly, the impact on human beings.

The ultrasound apparatus creates oscillations or waves in the range of ultrasonic frequencies. At the edge of different inner environments with varying acoustic density, the wave is refracted – part of the rays is reflected, and part continues to be linearly propagated. The higher the density difference between tissues, the greater the part of ultrasonic vibrations is reflected, forming an image.

For visualization in MRI, waves are used, not sound, but electromagnetic in the radio frequency range. This type of tomography uses the ability of hydrogen protons with the influence of a strong external electromagnetic field (powerful magnets) to change its magnetization, which makes it possible to record electromagnetic signals from organs and tissues that differ due to an uneven distribution of hydrogen atoms in the body.

A computed tomography machine is a kind of X-ray machine designed in such a way that the image obtained by X-rays has a 3D-look and allows you to look at the internal structures at different angles and in any plane thanks to computer processing. X-rays are electromagnetic waves that are generated by electron-onset annealing, which were issued by a heated cathode of an X-ray tube when connected to a power supply.

The frequency, and hence the energy of these waves, is hundreds of billions times higher than the energy of electromagnetic waves in MRI. Only this type of radiation has an ionizing effect on the environment, and, most importantly, on living organisms. The ionizing effect is understood as the excitation of cell molecules, which causes the breakdown of molecular bonds and the formation of chemical compounds with high activity – free radicals. As a result, there is the possibility of destruction of the cells of the body, so the greatest danger from these three types of research is CT.

2. Is the dose person receives during the fluorography differs from the dose from the permanent natural radiation? If differs then how much?

For one procedure of fluorography, which lasts for a split second for a fraction, a person receives a third of the annual dose of natural irradiation. With that in mind, every medical study using ionizing radiation should be fully justified.

3. Would it be useful to create a database of personal doses that people receive from medical exposure throughout their lives?

Creation of a database of individual doses from medical irradiation in Ukraine is impossible for now. Instead, in the near future, it is planned to introduce the All-Ukrainian Unified State Control and Accounting System for Individual Doses of Occupational Exposure of People Working in the Zone of Ionizing Radiation. The number of such workers in Ukraine is about forty thousand people. Dose limits are legally established for them, depending on the types of work and the time of being in the zone of ionizing radiation. The upper limit of the radiation dose for the population is regulated only for preventive procedures (fluorography).

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