No More Comfort Pads For Babies

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The new born intensive care units (NICU) are a branch of medicine which takes care of premature babies and critically sick babies. Some new born babies and premature babies face certain condition of lungs, gastrointestinal tract, brain, heart and eyes. They are subjected to portable radiography tests. Comfort pads are kept between the baby and the image detector plates which exposes new born babies to radiation.

Dr. Melvyn Cohen, who with Dr. Amit Rattan, while investigating exposure indices discovered that comfort, pads as a potential contributor to excess radiation exposure to the new born in the intensive care unit of the Indiana University’s Riley Hospital for children.

Dr. Rattan and Dr. Cohen were investigating about what might attenuate the the x-ray beam which was coming between the beam and the digital detector. when they were asked by the radiologic technologist to look into the comfort pads. Research was being done with a series of portable neonatal chest radiology exams. The test was done with the comfort pad and then done without the comfort pads. Pads of four different thickness levels were used 0.5,1,3, and 8 inches. Dr. Rattan and Dr. Cohen found out that as the comfort pad increased in size of thickness the exposure index decreased.. Since the test showed there was high attenuation of radiation beams it was suggested to remove comfort pads during radiography to reduce radiation index.

When tests were conducted the results showed that the comfort pads produced high attenuation of radiation beams. According to Dr. Cohen, “the pad always lies behind the baby and it attenuated x-rays that have been through the baby”. Cohen told Annieminnie.com that, “it is wasted radiation”.

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