X-rays can be a hugely important diagnostic tool. They allow doctors and clinicians to see inside the patient’s body without the patient having to undergo any exploratory surgery. This lessens the chances of infection and ensures better recovery times.

However, simply understanding how to take an x-ray is not enough; you must also be able to interpret the findings once those x-rays have been developed. With that in mind, here is a short guide to x-ray analysis which should help you understand a little more about what you need to do.

Equipment

Before you can analyze an x-ray, you need to ensure that the equipment you are using is up to date and of professional quality. Purchasing x-ray equipment from malvernpanalytical.com will ensure this is the case, but no matter where your x-ray equipment came from, you must check it all over before you can use it.

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This will prevent errors and ensure that the patient is not inconvenienced by having to have another x-ray because the first is unreadable or simply did not work in the right way. Once you have checked the equipment, you can take the x-ray, after which you will need to interpret it correctly.

Check The Details

Not only will you need to check the x-ray itself, but it is good practice to ensure you have the correct patient details. Therefore, you should check:

  • The patient’s name (first and last)
  • Date of birth

You should also ensure that check orientation – this means that you can take the correct image – and rotation. In other words, you’ll need to ensure that you can fit everything that needs to be fitted into the x-ray image. You must check that this is the case; otherwise, you may need to take another x-ray.

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The ABCs Of An X-Ray

Once everything is in place, and you are happy with the x-ray equipment and the patient’s position, you can take the x-ray to determine what issues might be causing the patient discomfort or pain. Once you have the developed film or digital image, you will need to consider the x-ray analysis.

  • Density

When the x-rays penetrate the patient’s body, they will be more easily absorbed into dense structures, such as bone. This essentially means that, when you are looking at the x-ray, the bones will show up much lighter and whiter than anything else, being the densest material. Tissue will be darker, and organs the same. Therefore, the image should look as though bones are white and everything else is in varying shades of gray.

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If the bones are darker than expected, or tissue and organs are brighter, the x-ray has been overexposed and must be retaken. If everything is as expected, the image is usable, and more in-depth analysis can begin.

  • Once it has been determined that the image is as it should be, the clinician will look at each element in turn. They will check the bones, tissue, and organs to see if there are any breaks, foreign objects, clots, tumors, and so on. If anything is noticed that is broken or that should not be there, either further investigation can take place (as would be the case with a tumor), or treatment can begin (as would be the case with a broken bone).

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