Southern DHB Respiratory Services
Public Service, Respiratory
A chest X-ray is normally undertaken to check the chest wall, lungs and heart. A chest X-ray is often the first test used to determine the reason for shortness of breath, persistent cough, chest pain or injury. Although you may think of an X-ray as a picture of bones, a trained observer can also see air spaces, like the lungs (which look black) and fluid (which looks white).
Women should always advise their doctor if they are or think they may be pregnant before an X-ray is undertaken. When having a chest X-ray you are exposed to a very small amount of radiation.
What to expect?
You will have all metal objects removed from your body. You will be asked to remain still in a specific position and hold your breath on command. There are staff present, but they will not necessarily remain in the room, but will speak with you via an intercom system and will be viewing the procedure constantly through a windowed control room.