Fetal Radiation-Induced Malformations

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    Malformations in a fetus in the first trimester have a threshold of 100-200 mGy (10-20 Rad) or higher and are typically associated with central nervous system problems. The fetus is most radiosensitive at this time due to the growth of organs.
    Acute (all at once) exposures are much more of a concern than if the exposure took place over a period of weeks.
    This information comes from those exposed inadvertently during their pregnancy, such as the atomic bomb survivors or pregnant women who receive diagnostic X-ray procedures (e.g., trauma patients may undergo many diagnostic procedures to evaluate and repair).
    The University of Washington provides dosimetry to the University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center for use in evaluating dose to the fetus of pregnant trauma patients or women of child bearing age who the medical centers cannot prove are not pregnant.


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