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May 5, 1978

Hazards of Radiation Exposure for Pregnant Women

Author Affiliations

From the Radiation Biology and Biophysics Section, Department of Radiology, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

JAMA. 1978;239(18):1907-1908. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280450079035

CONCERN over the effects of radiation, especially in pregnant women, has increased along with the public concern over other potentially toxic factors in the environment. The emotional content of this concern is heightened in too many cases by physicians' ignorance of the subject. Here, as elsewhere in medicine, the key to reasonable public action is education on the real issues, and an essential starting point is the education of primary physicians. The goal of this article is to enable physicians to give confident, appropriate, convincing advice regarding radiation exposure of pregnant women.

Levels of Radiation Pregnant Women May Receive  Medical effects of radiation are dose dependent. The Table lists radiation doses for a number of common procedures. The dose that your patient receives may differ somewhat, depending on the conditions of the exposure, but in the absence of specific information the values in the Table provide an approximation. As will