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RADIATION PROTECTION AND SAFETY PROCEDURES

RADIATION PROTECTION AND SAFETY PROCEDURES


Radiation protection and safety procedures have been established to ensure the protection & safety of the staff, patients and their relatives during their stay in department and to ensure that fertile and pregnant women are not exposed to radiation accidentally or unintentionally.

Radiation safety is enforced to ensure that both patients and radiation health workers are not exposed to unnecessary radiation through the use of proper techniques, equipment and shielding materials

RULES ON PROTECTION

PATIENTS, STAFF, AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

  • Using high KV techniques for chest x-ray procedures, good quality film and less radiation dosage to the patient.
  • Apply the ALARA principle.
  • Adequate radiation protection to all people in the area. In x-ray section, lead barriers, gonadal shield and lead gown are used.
  • Radiographers should ensure that patients, relatives and staff are properly instructed before an x-ray exposure is made.
  • No x-ray examination should be carried out without a written request from the requesting physician or a request signed by authorized personnel.
  • For inpatients, check the patient chart before printing the request to ensure that the exam requested is correct.
  • All exposure factors used for all the projections of the radiographic examination should be documented in the x-ray request.
  • For female patients of childbearing age, the last menstrual period (LMP) should be recorded on the x-ray request.
  • If the patient is pregnant but the exam is a necessity, consult the radiologist. Provide a shield for the patient and require a signed consent prior to proceeding with the exam. Abdominal and pelvic x-ray should not be performed.
  • The radiologist will consult the referring physician to discuss possible alternatives or modifications of the exam to minimize exposure to the fetus/embryo. 
  • All women of reproductive age should have abdominal x-ray examinations taken within 28 days of the first day of menstrual period.
  • Special precautions should be adopted in the x-ray of pregnant women, and justification of the requested examination should be obtained from the radiologist prior to the procedure.

GENERAL RADIOGRAPHY (X-RAY) AND FLUOROSCOPY

  • Before making an exposure or performing a fluoroscopy, ensure that all doors are closed.
  • All staff must either stand inside the protective cubicle near the control panel during radiography or fluoroscopy procedure. Wear a protective lead gown when inside the room. Lead gloves must be worn when hands are within the primary beam while holding the patient.
  • The fluoroscopic cumulative timer should be turned ON during fluoroscopic examination and the total fluoro time should be recorded on the x-ray request.
  • Gonadal shields must be used, if gonads lie within or near the radiation beam of patients whenever possible.
  • No patients should wait or change in the x-ray room while another patients are being radiographed.
  • If anyone is required to support a patient or film during x-ray exposure, he/she must wear a lead apron and lead gloves and avoid the direct beam by standing to one side and away from the x-ray tube.
  • Use collimation on the field size or the area necessary for the particular examination.
  • Radiographs should not be repeated. If any doubts arise for the quality of the images (motion, incorrect positioning, artefact, etc.) consult the radiologist first before repeating the examination.

OPERATING ROOM

  • Be sure that nobody is inside the room during exposure.
  • Warn everyone that we are going to do an exposure.Always use protective shielding during a procedure.
  • Be sure that you stay away from the x-ray source during the procedure.
  • Be sure that the tube is not facing the technologist during the procedure.
  • Leaded shielding is to be provided for staff that cannot leave the operating room.
  • Staff should stand behind the x-ray unit whenever possible.
  • Personnel wearing leaded aprons should face the x-ray unit, unless the lead apron wraps around the body.

CT SCAN

  • Have the accompanying person wear lead apron once inside the CT room.
  • Use smaller FOV.
  • Focus only the part of interest.
  • Be sure that nobody is inside the CT room while the machine is calibrating and warming up.
  • Be sure that the part of interest is free from any artifacts to avoid re-exposure.
  • Check LMP ‘s especially to child-bearing patients.

INTERVENTIONAL RADIOGRAPHY

  • Every member of interventional radiography team are obliged to abide by the policies and procedures of the department.
  • Dose monitoring devices should be worn at all times.
  • Use proper shielding (lead apron, lead glass, thyroid shield and goggles.
  • Move away from the source if your presence is not necessary.
  • Anybody not needed during a procedure should stay outside the interventional radiography.

PERSONNEL MONITORING

  • OSL- Optically Stimulated Luminescence Dosimeter by TUV Rheinland
  • Wear the OSL or Dose monitoring device at all times in the department. The main purpose is to monitor the whole body exposure to radiation. 
  • Submit bimonthly the used OSL to TUV Rheinland for reading.