Why We Need Pediatric Radiologists

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Cyrill Aschenbrenner, Regional Business Manager, Europe, X-ray Solutions, Carestream

Cyrill Aschenbrenner, Regional Business Manager, Europe, X-ray Solutions, Carestream

There was a recent interview on AuntMinnie Europe with Dr. Gabriele Hahn about the relative importance of pediatric radiology in Germany. In the interview, Dr. Hahn states that the number of practicing pediatric radiologists in Germany is declining and has been for about the past 20 years. She finds the trend troubling because pediatric radiology is a specialty that requires different knowledge than radiologists who solely capture medical images for adults.

Carestream recently published a blog post from Cincinnati Children Hospital’s (CCH) Radiology Department that talks about bringing in child life specialists to help with the imaging process for pediatric patients. The department does this because the specialist has a breadth of knowledge about child behavior that can help keep the patient calm and relaxed so the radiologist can capture the best image as efficiently as possible.

This is the sort of wisdom that applies to pediatric radiologists because they have a keener eye for issues that are relevant to younger patients. Dr. Hahn said in her interview that pediatric imaging practitioners give

Pediatric radiology requires the utmost care and delicacy, as patients' bodies are still developing at the time of imaging exams.

Pediatric radiology requires the utmost care and delicacy, as patients’ bodies are still developing at the time of imaging exams.

greater thought to radiation dose, an important pediatric imaging issue. The specialists’ techniques allow them to capture the best quality image while using the smallest level dose possible for the exam.

A trend we have seen throughout 2013, and will continue to see develop throughout 2014, is the need for interdisciplinary teams, and developing cultures engrained in thorough communication. With a practice as niche as pediatric imaging, practitioners must be consistently kept in the loop and sought for when pediatric patients require imaging exams. The partnership CCH demonstrated between the radiology department and child life specialist is the perfect example of this. If a child behavior expert is not available, then this strengthens the case for having staff solely dedicated to providing medical imaging exams for children.

What has been consistent throughout all discussions related to pediatric radiology is that a great deal of sensitivity and care is needed to effectively capture a high-quality image. Pediatric radiologists possess these characteristics and are sure to be vital for any facility’s that cares for young patients. Dr. Hahn offered this piece of information to further support the need for pediatric radiologists:

“From my lengthy experience as a pediatric radiologist, I can tell that a lot of colleagues, radiologists, and clinicians who have not had appropriate training find it difficult to reach the correct diagnosis or to come up with normal findings.” – Dr. Gabriele Hahn, AuntMinnie Europe, February 17, 2014.

At ECR 2014, pediatric imaging is sure to be a topic of great interest among attendees. Carestream will be demoing several products that address this trend such as our DRX-2530C wireless detector, and our IHE Dose Reporting software that transfers dose information from CR and DR systems directly to a facility’s PACS.

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