National Rehabilitation Hospital

Radiology (X-Ray) Department

Radiology Department

The Radiology department is located in the main hospital building at the NRH.  All of the imaging equipment in the department is linked to a fully integrated RIS/PACS (Radiology Information System and Picture Archiving and Communication System).   This allows clinicians to make requests for imaging procedures and also for the distribution of images and reports back to the clinician, be it at the bedside or within a clinic.

This in turn is integrated to the National Integrated Medical Imaging System (NIMIS), allowing your doctor at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, to see your x-rays or scans which were performed in almost all of the acute hospitals around the country.

Download our Radiation X-ray – Patient Information Leaflet PDF

Service Provided

At the NRH, the radiology service includes the sub-specialities of Ultrasound, DXA and plain imaging (X-rays).

Access to Radiology is available by appointment between the core hours of 9am-5pm on the following days:

X-rays and DXA scans – Monday to Friday

Ultrasound – Monday to Thursday

For the inpatient population the radiology service is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

All the equipment used is digital which speeds up the process of having an x-ray, and allows the Radiologist to report the image faster than when using the old hard copy x-ray film.  The results can then be conveyed back to the clinician more efficiently, with the end result being a more timely treatment for the patient.

Radiology as part of a Multidisciplinary Process

The multidisciplinary team working in radiology are actively involved in ongoing clinical research and training to ensure the best possible service is provided to all who access the service.  Introduction of new technologies and equipment are done with a patient focus always very much to the fore.

Staff Contact Details:-

Clinical Director of Radiology: Dr Brian McGlone

Clinical Specialist Sonographer: Rosie Conlon

Radiology Department telephone numbers are: 01 235 5453235 249 or 235 6769

Ultrasound

Ultrasound, also referred to as sonography, is the process of obtaining images from inside the body through the use of high frequency sound waves.

This type of imaging also allows radiologists and physicians to visualise structure, observe blood flow (Doppler) and tissue movement in the body’s organs and blood vessels.  All of which are necessary to diagnose many illnesses.

Since ultrasound emits no x-rays, it is very safe. There are no known risks or side effects associated with diagnostic ultrasound.

Please note that some ultrasound procedures require preparation – see below.

Abdominal ultrasound – you must have nothing to eat for 4 hours before the appointment, but you may still drink water. Continue to take any prescribed medication.

Abdomen and pelvis ultrasound – you must eat nothing for four hours before the appointment, but you may still drink water. You must drink one litre (two pints) of water one hour before the scan – you must not empty your bladder.  Continue to take any prescribed medication.

Kidneys, bladder and pelvis ultrasound – you must have a full bladder so please drink one litre (two pints) of water one hour before your scan – you must not empty your bladder. Continue to eat normally and take any prescribed medication.

Children – please encourage your child to drink plenty so that they have a full bladder when they arrive for the appointment. Continue to take any prescribed medication

X-ray

An X-ray or radiograph is one of the most commonly used techniques in radiology services for imaging internal structures of the body.  X-rays (radiographs) are an accurate and reliable way of getting helpful information to diagnose and treat many diseases, conditions and injuries.

The images show the differences in densities (compact areas) in the body.  Bone has a high density so it absorbs more x-rays and shows up as ‘light’ on the images.  X-rays pass readily through the air in the lungs so they show up as ‘dark’.

The differences in shading between the densities allows x-rays to outline organs, show abnormalities and find disease locations.

Minimal doses of radiation are used to achieve best results.  All x-ray examinations are well within permitted levels of diagnostic radiation.

Note for all women of childbearing age: 

Women within an age range of 12 to 55 years are asked to complete a Pregnancy Declaration Form, indicating pregnancy status and Last Menstruation Period (LMP), when having a diagnostic x-ray examination between the diaphragm and the symphysis pubis.

The radiology department makes use of the 10 day rule which means that for a patient with a regular 28 day menstrual cycle, the procedure should be scheduled to take place during the first 10 days of the menstrual cycle when conception is unlikely to have occurred.  Consideration would be given to scaling the 10 day rule according to the length of the patient’s menstrual cycle.  Please contact the department if you have any questions regarding this or to reschedule your appointment to your next menstrual cycle.  The department telephone numbers are: 01 235 5453 or 01 235 5249 or 01 235 6769

DXA

DXA (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) is an x-ray exam which is used to measure your bone strength or bone mineral density.  Osteoporosis is one of the conditions that can cause loss of bone mass.  Bones that are not very dense can become weak and are more likely to break.

Density measurements are taken of bones at specific areas of your body – usually at the lower back, hip, wrist or forearm.  The results show whether you have lost bone density. The measurements also help determine the presence of osteoporosis and can be used to estimate your risk of a possible bone fracture.  If you are being treated for bone loss, a follow-up exam can also show if the therapy is working.

There is little or no preparation for this exam. Please do not take any calcium supplements 24 hours before the exam.  Dress comfortably but try to avoid clothes with metal zips, buttons or belts.

The same LMP rule applies for DXA scanning, for all women of childbearing age as mentioned under the x-ray examination.