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Safety of short wave diathermy for pregnant physiotherapist

Iam 15 weeks pregnant. I work as a physiotherapist and have to use short wave diathermy for treating my patients. Is it safe if I am exposed to short wave diathermy while treating my patients? And if not could you please suggest me any safety measures that I could use to protect myself against the radiations of short wave diathermy


7 months ago

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Prof Tim Watson
Prof Tim Watson

We did have an indepth look at this issue some years back and published some guidance (in the UK, through the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy). That same guidance is still in place - nothing has changed in the literature so far as I can see. The guidance is detailed on the website ( Essentially, if the patient is pregnant, they should not be treated with shortwave or other RF applications - potentially puts the foetus at risk). If the therapist is pregnant, the guidance suggests that they should NOT operate shortwave devices and should remain at least 1 metre from a working machine. Clearly the further away the better, but 1m was the minimum separation. Tim


The “books are saying” you should keep space between you and the electrodes/wires about 1,5 meters. As far as I know,you shouldn’t work during pregnancy with Short Wave or Magnetic Therapy. I haven’t found this info anywhere, but in my country there is a “habit” , that pregnant women should avoid working with these therapies. You should search for some guidelines.

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