PMID: 7418346Jul 1, 1980Paper

Rationalising abdominal radiography in the accident and emergency department

Clinical Radiology
G J de LaceyB Cramer


A retrospective analysis is presented of 100 consecutive patients attending an accident department and referred for abdominal radiography. In general the reasons for requesting supine films appeared sound. Five per cent of referrals were for haematemesis which is not a valid reason for plain radiography. An erect abdominal film as a routine request is indicated only in suspected intestinal obstruction (4% in this series), but 83% of patients were referred for both erect and supine films. If haematemesis were excluded as a reason for X-ray referral, and if erect films were limited to suspected intestinal obstruction, 95% of the patients would still have been referred for radiography, but almost half the abdominal films would not have been required. This would have reduced film wastage, workload and more important, gonadal irradiation.


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