U.K. unveils new guidance on patient shielding

By AuntMinnieEurope.com staff writers

June 19, 2020 -- The British Institute of Radiology (BIR) and a group of U.K.-based medical imaging professional organizations have released a guidance document that addresses the issue of patient contact shielding (such as aprons or thyroid and gonad shields) for x-ray and CT examinations.

These shields provide little or no benefit, according to the document, which instead recommends radiation protection comprising staff education and training and good imaging technique.

Current technology can produce effective diagnostic images with less radiation, and as such, contact shielding may be more trouble than it's worth, the BIR said.

"It has become apparent that protective aprons or 'contact shielding' can sometimes cover up the

part of the body which needs to be imaged, or the shielding can move during an examination or interfere with the imaging equipment," it stated. "This might mean having a repeat x-ray, which could give additional radiation to the patient."

The BIR collaborated with the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, Public Health England, the Royal College of Radiologists, the Society and College of Radiographers and the Society for Radiological Protection on the document.

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