Imaging Services: All Questions Answered

02 Mar 2020

If you have been to 24-hour emergency care near you, then you know about digital x-rays. However, what you might not realize is we have different imaging tests that are designed to diagnose various conditions. In this post, our ER doctor answers some of the common questions on imaging tests. 

Are Imaging Tests a Routine Checkup?

No. At Memorial Village ER, we perform imaging tests when the situation calls for it, for example, a head trauma. The routine checkups include blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and oxygen level. 

What Types of Test Do You Offer?

We have different types of tests that are used to check and diagnose the internal organs. Some of the tests we offer include:

  • Multi-Slice CT Scans 

CT scans or Computerized Topography uses x-ray imaging to check the blood vessels and soft tissues. At Memorial Village ER, we have the multi-slice CT scans that use a multiple-row detector to produce imaging on different angles.

  • MRI 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI uses radio waves and magnetic fields to create detailed images of your internal organs. 

The MRI machine is used to check for anomalies of the spinal cord of the brain, breast cancer, tumors, cysts, and injuries of the joints, among others. Unlike the CT scans, the MRI doesn’t have ionizing radiation. On the downside, the machine produced high magnetic vibrations and sounds that can create hearing problems (though you are given earplugs during the test). Furthermore, it may cause claustrophobia in some people.

  • Bedside Ultrasound

Bedside ultrasound is a specific type of test that is performed when you are still in bed in the emergency room. Mostly an ER doctor uses the ultrasound to check for internal bleeding or diagnose a life-threatening condition such as injuries to the chest and abdomen after an accident. 

  • Cardiac ECHO

Echocardiogram (echo), also called cardiac ultrasound, is a test used to check for heart muscles and valves. When you visit an ER clinic near you and have a history of heart disease, the ER doctor may perform the test to assess the health of your heart and also diagnose heart diseases.

  • EKG 

An Electrocardiogram test or EKG is a painless procedure that measures the electrical signals of the heart to determine if the heart is beating in regular strength and rate. If you have abnormal EKG results, it may be an indication you have heart disease.

What About Radiation; Isn’t Dangerous?

Most people are reserved about having imaging tests for fear of radiation. Yes, some of the imaging tests, such as CT scan and digital x-rays, have radiation. However, the doses are too minimal to cause any health effects. According to doctors, you can only have health complications when exposed to high doses of radiation in an unsupervised environment.

It is, however, important to talk to the doctor if you have any health conditions that may prevent you from using a CT scan such as pregnancy.

Are Full Body Scans Necessary?

The scan may seem unnecessary and of no value, but they provide an accurate diagnosis for the entire body in a short time. When you visit the nearest emergency room, the ER doctor can do a full-body scan to check for cancer, heart, and lung conditions. Plus, the full-body scan does not have any side effects.

What’s the Potential Danger of Imaging Tests?

Although the CT Scans, digital x-rays, and MRI are believed to be dangerous, they are not. CT scan and x-rays contain radiation, but the doses are too minimal to cause any significant problem. MRI produces high, loud sounds, which are reduced by wearing earplugs.

Are Imaging Tests Ideal for Children?

Yes, at our pediatric emergency room, we have machines suitable for children. However, you can talk to our pediatrician if you have any concerns about the services.

Imaging services form a critical part in diagnosing disease, and therefore, we have embraced the technology to provide you with the best service. Contact us today when an emergency occurs, and we will give a personalized treatment.

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