Radiation information

Did you know that the x-ray or CT scan you are having today uses a small amount of radiation?

It is really important that the benefits from having the X-ray and making the right diagnosis or providing the correct treatment outweigh the very low risk involved with the x-ray itself.

Your Doctor or Healthcare Practitioner should have discussed this with you and how the information the x-ray will give will help with your diagnosis or treatment.

We all receive radiation, known as ‘background radiation’ every day, although mankind has successfully adapted to it over millions of years; in any one year our exposure will vary according to where we’ve lived, where we may have flown to, and what we may have eaten. X-rays give us a small additional dose of radiation.


Examinations such as Chest x-rays and x-rays of limbs have doses that are relatively low so carries a very low risk to you.




CT scans have doses that are a slightly higher, depending on what area is being scanned, however the risk to you is still relatively low.


The radiographer will be able to reassure you about the risks and is trained and experienced in keeping this dose to a minimum.

If you have any questions about the radiation dose you will receive the radiographer will be happy to answer them for you.

MRI and Ultrasound scans do not use radiation.


If you are pregnant, or think that you might be, it is best to avoid radiation exposure, unless your doctor decides that your test is very urgent.

The IR(ME)R 2017 regulations require us to establish whether there is any possibility of pregnancy in all individuals of childbearing capacity between the ages of 12-55 years and so you will be asked some questions about this before your x-ray if your x-ray is of, or around your abdomen or pelvis.

There is always concern about potential harm to the unborn child from x-ray or CT scan radiation. However if your doctor decides that your x-ray is urgent the risk of not having the X-ray could be much greater than the risk of the radiation. The radiographers will be able to reassure you about the risks and are trained and experienced in keeping this dose to a minimum.

 If you have concerns these can be discussed in private and in confidence with the radiographer before your examination

“We are committed to ensuring patients are free from discrimination regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.

If your gender was female at birth and you are transgender or
non-binary, please inform a member of staff as we legally need to rule out the possibility of pregnancy before we can go ahead with some of our examinations” (CQC, 2020); the radiation in the x-rays used to obtain your images can be harmful to a foetus in the womb.

Please speak to the Radiographer before the start of your examination. You will be able to have this conversation in private and in complete confidence. This information will not be recorded or shared without your consent.

Last updated: March 30, 2023.


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