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Concerns about X-raying Babies

Posted Mar 04 2011 1:51am

There was a long and startling article in the February 28, 2011 New York Times by Walt Bogdanich and Kristina Rebelo about X-raying babies. According to the article, many hospitals do not adequately protect a male baby's genitals or a female baby's breasts. I have never seen this kind of error and have seen many, many babies X-rayed. Some hospitals, the article stated, have done or still do what are called babygrams or full body X-rays. This gives a baby far too much radiation and is not necessary without proper protections.

The other startling revelation was that many X-ray technicians are not adequately trained and there are no laws that require a technician to have specific training or even licensing. I have always understood that an X-ray technician needed to be licensed as are doctors, nurses, and others who work with patients. Another problem that has been found is that many of the X-ray machines are not properly calibrated and give a much higher dosage of radiation than is needed.

Some legislation is pending in Congress which should prevent some of these problems. However, with the currect stalemate between the Republicans and Democrats on almost every issue, I wonder if this legislation will pass? I would hope that the American Academy of Pediatrics, of which I am a member, will speak up for the legilation so our babies will have better care.


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