Monday, 25 November 2013

One view is one view too few

Radiographers and radiologists are always taught that "one view is one view too few". What does this mean? As a rule of thumb, every skeletal trauma xray study should comprise a minimum of 2 views. This is why:

This unfortunate person managed to hammer a nail into their right hand. It looks horrendous, but this view doesn't tell the whole story. The second view:

This view tells us that the nail is within the soft tissues of the palm of the hand, and has missed all the bones. It's still a horrendous injury but makes a huge difference to how the patient will be managed.

So if you are presented with a patient with trauma, make sure you take at least two views, and if you are reading the films, insist on two views, because "one view is a view too few".

Pin these images here and here.

Dr Vikas Shah
Consultant Radiologist
Leicester, UK

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