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The use of plain abdominal x rays in the emergency department
  1. J E Smith1,2,
  2. E J Hall1
  1. 1
    Emergency Department, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK
  2. 2
    Academic Department of Military Emergency Medicine, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, UK
  1. Dr J E Smith, Emergency Department, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth PL6 8DH, UK; jasonesmith{at}


Abdominal x rays expose patients to significant doses of radiation and have limited use in emergency medicine. This review explores the evidence supporting the use of abdominal x rays in the emergency department, with particular reference to recent guidelines published by the Royal College of Radiologists. The authors' recommendations for the use of abdominal x rays in the emergency department are given.

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