The widespread use of small shock proof and "rayproof" x-ray units in connection with military and industrial work is well known. Less well known is the fact that these units are just as capable of producing serious burns in both patients and operator as were the old fashioned "exposed" units of a generation ago. Indeed, many of them are more apt to be dangerous for the simple reason that, being portable and shock proof, they can be brought much closer to the patient than could the older, heavier or non-shock proof units. The lack of adequate distance between the x-ray tube and the patient's skin is one of the chief sources of danger, few persons recollecting that the intensity of output varies inversely as the square of the distance.
The accompanying table will illustrate the importance of sufficient distance between tube and patient in x-ray work of any type: The
GARLAND LH. X-RAY BURNS RESULTING FROM FLUOROSCOPY OF GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT: REPORT OF FOUR CASES INCURRED IN ONE DAY. JAMA. 1945;129(6):419–421. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860400003002
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