Chest x-ray safe during pregnancy?

I had a chest x-ray yesterday at the ER with one of the portable machines. I told the ER doctor & x-ray technician that I was 22 weeks & 6 days pregnant & they still didn't cover me with the apron. Is my baby safe? What should I do?

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Please talk to your OB/GYN regarding your concerns, as I am sure that he/she can reassure you better than anyone on this forum, but....

    X-rays do not fly all willy nilly around a room, exposing everything in the area. They are highly directed and concentrated beams of radiation, which only expose the area of interest. If this was a portable chest x-ray, it was probably only one view of your chest (most CXRs are two views, routinely). With a routine two view CXR, the radiation exposure is the same as what we receive in TEN days of just living on this earth. Not much to worry about, really. A leaded apron is really used just to give the patient peace of mind, since the areas out of the primary beam receive very little, if any , radiation.

    The following website has questions answered by qualified medical personnel who are experts in radiation and it's effects. Here are some similar situations:

    "QUESTION: Are there any side effects to an unborn child from a chest x ray of a pregnant woman (first two months)?

    ANSWER: X rays of the chest result in minimal, if any, exposure to the unborn child because the x-ray beam is directed only at the chest region. Little, if any, radiation exposes the abdominal area. Health risks to the unborn child because of x-ray exposure in your case are minimal and should not be a cause of alarm or concern."

    "QUESTION: I am pregnant and had a chest x ray. A lead apron was used as protection. Will this harm my baby?

    ANSWER: Radiation dose to the embryo from a chest x ray, using modern technology, is extremely small. It is, in fact, too small to measure with most instruments. It is certainly no more than the dose received in a couple of days from unavoidable naturally occurring environmental radiation (commonly called background). Although no one can state unequivocally that there is no possibility of ill effects from this small dose, the probability of such effects is extremely remote. Every person gets the natural environmental radiation dose every day.

    S. Julian Gibbs, DDS, PhD "

    "Use of the lead apron to protect the patient undergoing dental radiographic examination was recommended some 50 years ago, when equipment was crude. This was because x-ray beams were not restricted to the area of clinical interest, beams were not filtered, and x-ray film was slower, causing radiation exposures 10 to 100 times higher than received today. With the current technology reducing radiation exposure significantly and the beam limited only to the area of interest, there is little or no measurable difference in whole-body dose whether a lead apron is used or not. The lead apron is no longer regarded as essential although some consider it a prudent practice, especially for pregnant and potentially pregnant females."

    Source(s): I am a radiologic technologist, and I wouldn't waste any time worrying about this one!
  • anable
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    X Ray During Pregnancy

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    Chest x-ray safe during pregnancy?

    I had a chest x-ray yesterday at the ER with one of the portable machines. I told the ER doctor & x-ray technician that I was 22 weeks & 6 days pregnant & they still didn't cover me with the apron. Is my baby safe? What should I do?

    Source(s): chest ray safe pregnancy:
  • 5 years ago

    I also had a chest xray in 7 week of pregnancy . But I am afraid that what should I do to safe the baby. Is there any harmful effects?

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  • 3 years ago

    X Rays While Pregnant

  • 3 years ago

    I was exposed to a portable x-ray machine by holding someone that was getting chest x-ray. I didn't know i was a month pregnant. Can harm my baby

  • Pippin
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Modern x-rays emit much less radiation than older ones. The odds of damage from a single x-ray are VERY remote. If you need an x-ray for medical reasons, it's safe to have it.

    (However, I'm very surprised that they didn't use the apron regardless.)

  • 1 decade ago

    The amount of radiation recieved should be minimal and the aprons are a precaution only. If you informed them that you were pregnant and they weren't worried about that neither should you be. The chest x-ray is just that - your chest - so your stomach wouldn't be affected. They are portable machines and directed to one area. Please try not to worry. I'm not pregnant but I had the same type of x-ray recently and when the staff wear aprons you get unnerved but please don't worry about it. Good luck with the pregnancy.

  • 1 decade ago

    I was 23 weeks when I had a radioactive lung scan with an isotope I had to breathe in.

    By your stage in pregnancy, all of your baby's systems are formed, and are just growing. Don't worry, your baby is fine.

  • 1 decade ago

    Don't quote me on this but I think I read somewhere that they are most dangerous during the first trimester. I would trust the Er doctors knew what they were doing, but I would also let your OB doctor know what happened. If your were in the ER I would think it was important that you got the Xray maybe they didnt' have a choice

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