In general, pediatric radiography should always use as short exposure times as possible to minimize image blurring that may result from patient motion. However, even with short exposure times, preventing motion during exposures is a constant challenge in pediatric radiography. Good techniques and effective methods of immobilization are essential. Immobilization can improve image quality by minimizing patient motion. It can decrease the risk of repeat exposure and missed diagnosis from sub optimal exam. It can decrease the overall time of the procedure. And because of all these factors, it can lower the patient, parent, and staff radiation dose.
The step lightly campaign is an offshoot of the image gently campaign. Where image gently focused primarily on radiation protection for pediatric CT and later general pediatric radiography, step lightly focuses on pediatric interventional radiology. However the same principles apply for adult procedures. The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) has published a checklist of best practices for practitioners to follow during interventional procedures.
Step Lightly Checklist Review steps below before starting the procedure.
Obese patients are at risk for increased radiation exposure due to the increase in radiation needed to penetrate tissue, the risk for repeat exams due to difficult positioning and technique, an incompatibility with existing equipment, and because obese patients suffer from health conditions which require radiologic procedures more than the average public.
A 57 year old man who weighed 490 lb (223 kg). Chest radiograph shows limited diagnostic quality image with poor X-ray penetration and poor visualization of lung bases.
Inadiquate patient shielding during radiography can contribute to increased patient dose. For radiologic technologists, shielding is particularly important to protect anatomic areas of the patient near the exposure field, but should not interfere with obtaining diagnostic information.
All US States have departments which regulate Radiologic Technologist activity within the state. Some states have specific X-ray CE requirements. Check with your state’s registry to confirm exact requirements.
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