Radiation is said to exist in nature since the beginning of time, and is not just the result of man’s ingenuity. That being said, naturally occurring radiation is rarely strong enough to kill a person, but radiation or leakage of radiation from medical equipment definitely can! Today’s use of radiation for treatment of cancers and advanced levels of X-ray diagnostics is one of the major sources of man-made radiation.
Radiation therapy still remains one of the most effective methods of fighting cancer, to the very day. And as newer and more advanced types of x-ray and scanning equipment is developed, higher will be the exposure to radiation and the need to monitor such radiation. So, in order to avoid or reduce the negative impact of radiation on patients on health personnel, it is important to have the right kind of dependable radiation detection equipment.
Major Uses of Medical Radiation
Currently, radiation-emitting technologies are applied in CT scans, MREs, and of course x-rays. Apart from this, radiation is also a concern for those undergoing radiation therapy, as the patients and health care staff are at risk of exposure to lethal doses of radiation. Let’s have a look at all the major applications of radiation in the field of medicine:
X-Rays & Diagnostics – Diagnostic x-ray, also known as radiography, is a revolutionary method for getting accurate images of specific areas within the body. Such procedures use x-rays to reveal vital diagnostic information about the human body’s functions, but also emits a lot of radiation.
Radionuclide Diagnosis – Radionuclide scans are the most effective method of imaging bones, organs and various other body parts, using a minute dose of radioactive chemicals. There type of radionuclide chemical used depends on the specific body part that requires scanning. It is essential to monitor the dosage for such procedures, or it might have fatal consequences.
Radiation therapy – Radiation therapy is one of the oldest uses of radiation, and employs the use of high-energy radiation to shrink or break down large tumors and kill any cancer cells. X & gamma rays, and other charged particles are a few methods of radiation therapy, and needs to be administered via an external machine, known as external-beam therapy. Alternately, therapy might occur via radioactive materials placed within the body, known as internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy.
Ultimately, the kind of radiation therapy administered by a radiation oncologist depends on a number of critical factors, including:
- The kind of cancer.
- The size of the tumor.
- The location of the cancer in the body.
- The patient’s sensitivity to radiation.
- The patient’s general well-being and medical history, and
- Other factors like age, gender, skin color, and so on.
Why Radiation is important & why it needs to be monitored
Radiation emitting procedures like radionuclide imaging are performed by practitioners in order to get a visual idea of the structure and functioning of specific organs, tissues, or bones. It is important be able to detect, monitor and regulate the amount of radiation exposure because it is used to analyze a number of issues, including:
- kidney function
- heart blood flow rates (Example: myocardial perfusion scan)
- scanning for respiratory and blood flow issues
- identifying gallbladder infections
- Evaluating bone fractures, infections, tumors, etc.
- the presence and/or rate of spread of a cancer
- leaky bowl syndrome
- the specific location of an of infection
- thyroid function assessment
- the localization of lymph nodes prior to surgery for breast cancer or melanoma
Why do you need medical radiation detection equipment?
Those working in the field of medicine, whether emergency response teams, researchers, or equipment operators can face the risk of exposure at any time. This makes it crucial for such personnel to be able to detect abnormal doses of radiation so that they can deal with it accordingly.
And unlike the radiation detection devices of yesterday that were bulky, expensive, and designed to perform only one specific task, there are now a number of radiation detection devices that provide multiple functionalities in one single device. This includes the ability to:
- Identify & record isotopes
- Measure critical doses
- Measure the rate of dose
- Identify radiation abnormalities
- Monitor & identify several types of radiation, including alphas, betas & gammas.
Radiation detection equipment like Ecotest.ua manufactures can be used to identify, measure and monitor the amount of radiation exposure, for the following cases:
Dosage Monitoring – People like oncologist, nurses and equipment handlers are at a constant risk of being exposed to radiation. So, it is imperative that every radiation oncology and radiology department should be equipped with instruments that measure the dose of radiation that they are being exposed whenever they’re working with radiation emitting equipment. In such cases, the radiation detection equipment can also be used to ensure that the medical equipment being used is not leaking or emitting fatal doses of radiation to either the operator or the patient.
Exposure Detection & Monitoring – It is a well-known fact that although we can’t feel or see radiation, it can be readily detected, identified, and measured using the appropriate radiation detection device. Globally, tens of thousands of medical professionals work in and around environments that contain radiation. And although they might be exposed to background levels of radiation, it is important to be able to detect radiation exposure as early as possible.
ERT – Even for those medical personnel that don’t work in a hospital or medical facility with radiation emitting equipment, they might be exposed to radiation while administering emergency medical services. These professionals are the first responders to any medical emergency, and it is critical to their well-being that they are equipped with the right kind of radiation detection equipment that will allow them to identify patients that have been exposed to radioactive material, and also administer appropriate remedies, while also being able to take preventive measure by ensuring their own well-being.