Emergency radiology refers to imaging exams to diagnose an acute illness or traumatic injury.
Emergency radiology exams include the following:
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) uses a large magnet and other technology to generate a 3-D image.
- CT (c)omputed tomography takes specialized X-rays from multiple angles and converts them into a detailed 3-D image.
- X-ray uses a very small amount of ionizing radiation to generate a still image of a structure or organ.
- Ultrasound uses sound waves to create a moving picture of a structure or organ such as a beating heart.
At Dignity Health, we perform high-quality emergency radiology in Arizona. Our Phoenix area hospitals are located in Ahwatukee, Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert, Laveen, Goodyear, Surprise, Mesa, and Glendale.
Use our online InQuicker™ tool. It can reduce your waiting time in the ER.
Why Doctors Perform Emergency Radiology
You may need emergency radiology to diagnose:
- Traumatic injuries: fractures, spine injuries, and head and neck injuries
- Internal injuries: organ injury such as a ruptured spleen
- Internal bleeding: hemorrhagic stroke and bleeding due to trauma
- Abdominal emergencies: appendicitis, kidney stones, and bowel obstructions
- Aneurysms: brain aneurysms and aortic aneurysms in the abdomen or chest
- Chest emergencies: chest pain, collapsed lung, pulmonary embolism, and breathing problems
- Blood clots: clots that cause pulmonary embolisms (b)lood clot in artery going to lung and stroke (b)lood clot in artery going to brain
What to Expect from Emergency Radiology
Doctors rely heavily on emergency radiology services to diagnose illness and injury quickly, determine next steps, and devise treatment plans. The detailed images that emergency radiology provides can be lifesaving.
A radiologic technologist will likely perform the procedure, and an emergency radiologist will interpret the results. The goal is to provide final results as quickly as possible to help diagnose emergency conditions and guide treatment.
Both X-rays and ultrasound are fairly fast ways to image a part of the body. Often, portable ultrasound machines are available at the bedside. Portable X-ray machines can benefit patients in critical care. Ultrasound may be particularly appropriate for children because it does not use radiation.
X-rays, ultrasound, and CT take less time than MRI. However, MRI is better at showing detail in soft tissues and internal organs, including the heart and brain. CT is better at showing detail for injuries and problems with bony structures, including the spine. Your doctor may use a combination of imaging studies to fully diagnose your condition. Dignity Health provides high-quality emergency services, including radiology, in Arizona.