The etymology of dose refers to medieval Latin, although its origin is found in the Greek word dósis (which can be translated as the “act of giving”). A dose is called a portion or an amount of something, whether material (physical) or immaterial (symbolic).
For example: “The film needs a dose of suspense”, “The government assured that vaccine doses are guaranteed for all patients”, “The police arrested a person who was transporting two hundred doses of drugs ready to be marketed”.
The idea of dosage can also be applied to the amount of medicine a patient is given at each dose. In the field of pharmacology, the dose refers specifically to the amount of active ingredient that a medicine has in each supply.
The drug can be supplied in a unit dose or in multiple doses. In the case of the unit dose, the remedy is administered to the patient in a single portion that is prepared in a container that cannot be reused.
The maximum tolerated dose is the amount of medicine that a person can take or receive without serious side effects. If that dose is exceeded, the subject overdoses. When the excessive dose produces death, it is classified as a lethal dose.
In the context of radiology, the dose is linked to the level of radiation received by a living being. From the radiation magnitudes such as the effective dose, the absorbed dose and the equivalent dose can be measured.
Radiology relies on the use of x – rays, a form of energy similar to radio and light waves that is also known simply as radiation. Something that distinguishes them from light waves is that they have enough energy to pass through the body, both through the epidermis and through the bones and tissues of organs, and this allows radiologists to obtain images of the interior of the patient without need for physical alterations such as surgery.
Professionals must measure the radiation dose that passes through the body using the unit called millisievert (mSv), related to the concept of effective dose. There are other units for this measurement, such as the gray, the sievert, the rem, the rad, and the roentgen.
The effective dose refers to the risks that the patient runs when subjecting his body to radiation; Among the most common side effects is the probability of developing cancer. To calculate the effective dose, it is necessary to take into account the degree of sensitivity of each of the tissues that the radiation will pass through.
Physicians can assess and compare the risk posed by the effective dose with more common sources of exposure, such as natural background radiation, which represents what we receive daily naturally, so it varies depending on the geographical area in which let’s meet According to some research, North Americans receive a dose of around 3 mSV each year from natural sources.
The higher the altitude, the higher the natural dose: in New Mexico and Colorado, for example, exposure adds an average of 1.5 mSv to the dose received by people living near sea level. Radon gas, present in our homes, is the largest source of this type of radiation, since the annual dose reaches 2 mSv.
To compare the radiation dose of radiology with the natural background, we can say that a chest X-ray performed on an adult gives him 0.1 mSv, which is equivalent to what he would get over ten days.