As a tech working in a major trauma center I get frustrated at trauma doctors ordering multiple exams/bodygrams when a patient has an abrasion or just pain on palpation in a certain area. A few examples - an MVC with an abrasion on the thigh will get orders for a pelvis (standard trauma protocol), hip, femur and knee. We got a patient in that was the victim of an agg. assault 3 weeks prior and we did plain films of shoulder(3 views), humerus, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand as well as bilateral hips w/ pelvis, femur, knee and tib-fib - in my opinion it seems extremely redundant to image joints multiple times when there is not a specific injury, it seems like the doctors are just grasping at straws or not using their clinical skills. I would like to get a radiologist's point of view on this. Is the extra radiation exposure to the patient justified? Can you read for example - a hip and knee on a femur film or does it require seperate films?
I agree with you. This is our problem, too..The problem now is that emergency physician are under pressure...in particular for malpractice. So...even if not necessary they ask a lot of x-rays. Extra-radiation dose exposure is not justified, and our colleagues have to be educated on the risk of it. We currently read a hip and knee together, without the need of a separated film.
Regards, Alessandro Lemos.