Paediatric radiology is essentially a branch of radiology that involves the imaging of fetuses, infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. This is a field of medicine that comes with plenty of challenges because the age bracket it deals with is quite delicate because they are undergoing development and so they are more susceptible to risks.
In this article, we are going to look at the 3 major challenges in paediatric radiology.
1 Lack of comprehension of the process by children
One of the major challenges paediatricians face in paediatric radiology is that children will understandably always have a lot of difficulty in comprehending the process and will therefore not be very comfortable in the hospital environment thus making the process of imaging somewhat difficult. It’s quite a challenge getting a child to cooperate as well as stay still during the imaging process, which is very crucial for accurate results.
2 It may require the use of a lot of radiation
In the field of medicine, the use of ionizing radiation has been a tremendous discovery that has proved very effective in imaging of both adults and children thus enabling doctors diagnose and treat many ailments that would have otherwise been life threatening. The only challenge with this revolutionary discovery especially in paediatric radiology is that it may require exposing a child to a lot of radiation which carries a lot of long term risks such as an added risk of cancer.
3 Issues of radiation protection
A major challenge with paediatric radiology is that children tend to be more radiosensitive when compared to adults. In addition to this, because they are very young, they stand a higher risk of giving cancer cells sufficient time to develop as a result of the exposure to ionizing radiation. Whereas medical practitioners are aware of these risks, there is no technology currently in place to reduce ionizing radiation from imaging equipment.
As a mitigation measure for these challenges, there is a lot of emphasis on educating healthcare providers as well as parents and guardians on the risk factors associated with radiology and how they can be reduced such as through minimizing doses. It’s therefore important for parents to be fully aware of the pros and cons of paediatric radiology before their children are exposed to it.