The profile of indications for radiography in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Universitas Academic Hospital, Bloemfontein

  • V Govender
  • T Ntholeng
  • F Vawda
  • CO Larson


Introduction. Radiography is a key diagnostic tool in paediatric care. A pro-active approach (including the use of radiography) is required
to ensure e.ective management of these patients. Taking into account the widely documented harmful e.ects of ionising radiation and
the small organ masses of neonates, the number of radiographs that neonates receive during hospital admission is of particular concern. A
reduction in radiation exposure tailored to speci.c indications would be advantageous. e aim of this study was therefore to establish a
pro.le of indications for radiographs in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Universitas Academic Hospital, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Methods. A retrospective, descriptive study was conducted over a 1-month period (8 September - 8 October 2010). Information was
obtained from the online Medi-Tech system used to request radiographs.
Results. A total of 469 radiographs were performed on 51 neonates. Twenty-seven male and 24 female neonates received 226 (48.2%)
and 243 (51.8%) radiographs, respectively. e radiographs were classi.ed into routine (91.9%) and urgent (8.1%). Chest radiographs were
requested most frequently (59.5%). e most commonly recorded indication was prematurity (37.1%), followed by respiratory-related
indications (28.5%). e highest number of radiographs performed on a single neonate was 46.
Conclusions. All radiographs were requested online, supporting the validity of the study with regard to the number of radiographs performed
and their respective indications. A representative pro.le of indications was successfully obtained, which can assist with the implementation
of further research on the strati.cation of radiation exposure according to indications for radiographs.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1999-7671
print ISSN: 1994-3032