When you see a provider at The Center for pain or an injury, your exam will often start with questions to understand your medical history. After a thorough physical evaluation, your provider may order diagnostic imaging to evaluate and confirm the location of any damage that may be causing your symptoms. This may include:
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
- CT (computed tomography)
The Center no longer uses the outdated practice of shielding patients with a lead apron during exams which utilize radiation, including X-rays. Following Oregon Health Authority guidelines, we now know that advances in technology and knowledge have made patient shielding a practice that introduces more risk than benefit.
With advances in technology, and a better understanding of radiation, medical experts now know that the best way to keep patients safe during imaging exams is to not use shields. This is true regardless of a patient’s age, sex, or pregnancy status.
Changing this decades-old practice is not easy. We understand that some patients have come to expect a lead apron during an x-ray, however, there is no evidence that shielding benefits patient health and it may impair the quality of the imaging.
To help you gain a better understanding of this change, you can read the brochure created by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements and the Informational Bulletin regarding gonadal shielding issued by the Oregon Health Authority.