Report on visit to Medway Hospital.
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AS Physics Coursework - Report on visit to Medway Hospital. At the hospital we were taken round many departments in which physics could be seen clearly at work, I have chosen to look specifically at X-rays and Ultrasound. Ultrasound Ultrasound is used mainly in three areas of medicine; Obstetrics, Cardiology and Urology. Ultrasound is most widely known for its uses in Obstetrics which is the branch of medicine which deals with women through pregnancy and child birth. During pregnancy Ultrasound can be used to check the size of the foetus to estimate the due date, the sex of the baby, the position of the foetus, to detect an ectopic pregnancy or even to monitor the baby during specialist procedures such as amniocentesis. This is just a brief outline of how ultrasound is used in Obstetrics. Ultrasound is used in Cardiology to identify abnormal structures of the heart and to measure blood flow through the heart and major blood vessel.
X-Rays X-Rays are used widely throughout medicine in various ways and forms. They are most widely known for their usefulness in detecting fractures or breakages in bone, they are used in many other ways. They can be used to detect cavities, swallowed objects and look at softer tissue like lungs or blood vessels or even to find tumours. X-Rays were first discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Roentgen a German physicist. He named them X-radiation because of their mysterious nature at the time. He found that they could pass through many objects that reflected visible light and could dislodge electrons from atoms. X-rays are a form of Electromagnetic energy like visible light they carry energy in particles known as photons. X-rays have a higher energy level and shorter wavelength than visible light. Our eyes can't detect the high wavelength of X-rays so they appear invisible to the naked eye. An x-ray can be created in one of two ways.
The body's soft tissue doesn't absorb x-rays very well Medical x-ray machines use this characteristic to take pictures of things inside a person's body. The x-rays pass through the soft tissue of the human body and are mostly absorbed by the bones and harder tissues. Under the part which is being x-rayed there is a slide of x-ray film as the x-rays hit it they darken it, the higher energy level the wave has when it hits the darker the film goes. The x-rays that pass through bone and harder tissue have less energy as it has been absorbed into the body. Once the film is processed in an automated machine a film is produced so that a radiographer can analyse the film and send a report to the doctor. One of the major new advances in x-ray technology is digital scanning which is already being used in some hospitals. This innovation will enable radiographers to render a computer image of the x-ray this means that it can be analysed much more quickly and will cut costs greatly.
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