Revision 46 for 'Chest x-ray - an approach (summary)'

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Chest x-ray - an approach (basic)

This is a basic article for medical students and other non-radiologists

Chest x-ray review is a key competency for medical students, junior doctors and other allied health professionals. Chest radiographs are frequently performed and a fantastic tool for making diagnoses of acute and chronic conditions, as well as acting as a tool for follow up.

Be systematic

There are many systematic ways to review a chest x-ray. The important thing is to get into the habit of having a systematic approach. If you do the same thing every time you look at a chest x-ray, you will be much less likely to make a mistake.

Initial review

Start off the same way each time you look at a film. Every time you look at an x-ray or other scan, think about:

  • who, what, why, where and when
  • quality
  • lines and tubes

Read in more depth: initial review

A, B, C, D, E

Using the A, B, C, D, E approach you can use the headings employed in ALS (advanced life support) to prompt you to look at things in the correct order:

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