State-of-the-art Technology and Expert Staff at CHOC Minimize Radiation Exposure

There’s no place like CHOC when it comes to providing high-quality and safe imaging services for children. The CHOC radiology department is the only pediatric facility in Orange County offering a wide range of imaging services using the most advanced equipment, while ensuring the lowest amount of radiation possible.

CHOC Radiology department main lobby.
CHOC radiology department main lobby.

Recognizing how important imaging is in helping physicians make diagnoses, as well as rising concerns over radiation exposure to children, the expert physicians and staff are dedicated to using low doses of radiation. This is done without sacrificing the quality of images required for quick and accurate diagnoses. Regularly, the department uses between 50 and 70 percent less radiation than community hospitals or independent imaging centers, explains Dr. Nathan Holmes, medical director, CHOC radiology.

CHOC’s pediatric radiologists work closely with staff and referring physicians to determine the most appropriate exam.  In some cases staff may first begin with an imaging technique that uses no radiation, such as an ultrasound machine. This technique may require more time – and definitely more expertise, but can often lead to a correct diagnosis without introducing radiation to the patient.

Technology plays key role
CHOC employs the latest in imaging technology, which includes scanners with pediatric-friendly settings that use lower levels of radiation and take images more quickly before the patient has a chance to move. This lessens the odds of having to redo the scan, thus doubling exposure to radiation.

CHOC’s flash CT scan can complete an entire body scan in less than five seconds, which also reduces the need for anesthesia for restless children.

Further, post-processing work can repeatedly reconstruct the image to make it as clear as it needs to be for the physician to make a diagnosis. This means that images can be captured with lower doses of radiation.

Staff dedicated to highest quality of care
Highly-trained staff and physicians who are dedicated to pediatric care also play a critical role in ensuring successful, low-dose imaging procedures. Experienced physicians and staff tailor the exam and its radiation levels to answer specific questions. Additionally, all staff undergo age-specific training annually to learn how to work and communicate with children of varying ages.

The radiology department also has a dedicated child life specialist who can help support families and patients through education and distraction. A specialist’s help can ensure a faster exam –  resulting in a more enjoyable and efficient visit for you and your child.

The CHOC radiology department is conveniently located on the first floor of The Bill Holmes Tower at CHOC Hospital. Click here to learn more.  

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