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What is Emergency Radiology?

Image Diagnostics

Image Diagnostics

  Hbr layout, Bengaluru     Feb 21, 2017

   4 min     


Acute illnesses and accidents demand the utmost attention and care. Quite often, the reasons for such illnesses or the immediate effect thereof on the body are not known. The radiologic aspects and diagnostic mechanisms provide quick and detailed information about the affected person. As the name suggests, emergency radiology(ER) is the sub-branch of radiology that is concerned with the patients in the emergency room. Emergency radiology is a subspecialty of diagnostic radiology. Emergency diagnostic radiologists are an integral part of a hospital’s emergency team and are directly involved in helping diagnose trauma patients. 

The goal of the Emergency Radiology (ER) is to provide high quality, timely, final readings to all ER patients and all inpatients requiring emergent/urgent radiological services. The list of emergency drugs in radiology are Gadoteridol, Mangafodipir, Ethiodized Oil, Iodipamide, Iiothalamate, Diatrizoate, Ioxaglate, Diatrizoate/Iodipamide, Isosulfan blue, Gadoxetate Disodium, Gadopentetate Dimeglumine, Gadofosveset Trisodium, Gadodiamide, Barium Sulfate, Iopamidol.

Some other emergency medicine radiology is Ioversol, Iodixanol, Perflutren, Iobenguane I 123, Iodine i 131 Tositumomab, Strontium-89 Chloride, Sodium Iodide-i-131, Chromic Phosphate p32, Samarium sm 153 Lexidronam, Ferumoxides, Gadobutrol, Ferumoxsil, and Gadoversetamide.

Some emergency radiology cases, such as patients with acute illnesses or victims of accident and emergency radiology had very low chances of survival as much of the time was spent in analysis and diagnosis of the disease/wound. With the help of emergency radiology, the same tasks can now be done in just seconds and immediate care can be provided to the patients. The emergency radiology impact factor has been widely effective. Broadly speaking, the methods of ER are quite similar to those of Radiology but still require specialization for emergency treatment as in such cases, time is a serious constraint. 

Some of the methods and techniques used in an emergency in the radiology department are:

  1. Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI): MRI uses radio waves and magnetic fields to obtain images. It does not expose the body to radiations and hence there are no chances of allergic reactions. MRI produces an extremely detailed structure of soft tissues that no other method can achieve. Since its invention, doctors and researchers continue to refine MRI techniques to assist in medical procedures and research. The development of MRI revolutionized medicine. An MRI scan differs from CT scans and X-rays, as it does not use potentially harmful ionizing radiation.

  2. Computed Tomography(CT): A CT-scan uses X rays to view the body in cross-section and ignores the overlapping of body parts. It also gives details about the shape, size, density, and texture of body parts. This information can be obtained in just seconds which is very useful considering the emergency aspect of Radiology. (CT) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around your body and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images (slices) of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body. CT scan images provide more detailed information than plain X-rays do.

  3. Ultrasound: An ultrasound is the safest method of imaging as it does not require exposure of any sort. Ultrasound is sound waves with frequencies higher than the upper audible limit of human hearing. It is a diagnostic imaging technique based on the application of ultrasound. It is used to create an image of internal body structures such as tendons, muscles, joints, blood vessels, and internal organs. Its aim is often to find a source of a disease or to exclude pathology. It is a great tool especially in diseases of bladder, abdomen, and in acute pain and emergencies in cases of pregnancy.

  4. X-Rays: It is the most common method of imaging in the emergency room. Be it determining fractures in cases of accidents to chest x-rays for heart diseases, x-ray imaging is of paramount importance. These modern technologies have significantly increased the chances of survival in cases of emergencies and acute diseases. X-ray imaging creates pictures of the inside of your body. The images show the parts of your body in different shades of black and white. This is because different tissues absorb different amounts of radiation. Calcium in bones absorbs x-rays the most, so bones look white. Fat and other soft tissues absorb less and look gray. Air absorbs the least, so lungs look black.

Emergency Radiology journal informs its readers about the radiologic aspects of emergency care. The journal acts as a resource body on emergency radiology for those interested in emergency patient care. Emergency Radiology is the Journal of the American Society of Emergency Radiology (ASER). ASER members receive the journal as a benefit of Membership.

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Mohmjan Ansari
Mohmjan Ansari |  September 17th, 2017