If a patient is to be examined even if pregnant, scheduling serves no useful purpose and may be counterproductive. If an examination can be postponed to the end of pregnancy, the need for that examination is questionable, even if the patient is not pregnant.
Two alternatives to the foregoing procedure for these situations, which require special consideration, are offered.
1. The examination can be postponed until after the pregnancy, or it can be conducted at the next menstrual period when the patient is known not to be pregnant.
2. Modification of an examination to reduce the radiation dose can be considered without necessarily compromising the thoroughness of the study. This option can be exercised for any patient when indicated by the judgment of the attending physician who, in consultation with the radiologist, can determine the examination protocol.
All physicians who request and conduct radiologic examinations should familiarize themselves with the pertinent radiologic information. The attending physician should carefully consider the need for the examination and record the decision in the patient's record. And, the x-ray consultation request should carry a notation that the matter of potential or actual pregnancy has been taken into account in the decision to request the examination.
- Copyright © 1978 by the American Academy of Pediatrics