This Week’s Medical Q&A: Are X-rays Harmful To Pregnant Woman?

.    Q:  Are All X-Rays Risky During Pregnancy?

A. No, not all x-rays are risky during pregnancy.  Although we
don’t want to expose you or the baby to x-rays unnecessarily, sometimes it is
the correct test to help with a diagnosis.  If you need an x-ray during
pregnany, the x-ray tech will be sure to put a lead shield over your abdomen to
protect the baby.  That said, safe x-rays include a chest  x-ray
(with the proper shielding of course) and x-rays of your limbs. Generally
x-rays of the stomach are not done during pregnancy.

How Can I Tell if My Child Needs Stitches?

A. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if
stitches are actually needed.  When you are looking at your crying child
and all you see is blood and the inside of the skin,  you may not be
able to tell. Generally a shallow cut doesn’t need stitches.  Sometimes,
even deeper cuts do just fine with a bandaid or skin glue but if you have any
concerns, please come by Doctors Express and let us take a look.  We never
mind telling folks they don’t need stitiches or putting stitches in if they are
necessary. We would rather you come visit us and have us tell you that you or
your child didn’t need stitches than having you run the risk of an infection or
bad outcome.  Remember, the sooner we can take a look, the less likely there
will be complications such as infections.

“We would rather you come visit us and have us tell you that you or your child don’t need stitches than having you run the risk of an infection or
bad outcome”

Dr. Besser

Q:   How Do Doctors Test for Allergies?

A. Allergy testing is done in several ways.
The most common way to do testing is by putting a tiny amount of the suspected
allergic material onto a small scratch in the skin and look for a local
reaction (it looks like an itchy insect bite).  Usually when we do this,
we don’t just test for one thing but a bunch of different things- like pollen
from different grasses and trees, animal dander, dust, and certain foods.
Another way to do allergy testing is by a bllo test that looks for antbodies to
certain things (mostly food allergies).  This method is not as sensitive
as skin testing, so it isn’t done as much.

Many times we doctors don’t do actual testing but just treat patients for allergies based on their
symptoms (itchy watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing and so on).  In those
cases we recommend using medications like Claritin, Allegra or Zyrtec to control the
symptoms.  We only do testing when patient have severe allergies or asthma
that could cause serious problems.  Then we begin treatment based on the
results of those tests.  The treatment- desensitization- involves weekly
shots of tiny amounts of the allergic material until the body becomes
comfortable with that material and no longer recognises it as an allergy.
This process generally takes years to accomplish and you still have to take
medications to control your symptoms.

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