The Importance Of Maintaining Nuclear Shielding On X-Ray Equipment

Environmental Blog

X-ray machines are one of the most important and heavily-used item in a hospital. They allow doctors to perform a wide range of procedures that are crucial for assessing a patient's health. However, worn down shielding can be a serious danger for patients and even caregivers.

The Principles Of Proper Shielding

There are several important principles that must be followed with radiation shielding on x-ray equipment. For example, there needs to be a shielding report performed by a specialized radiation installer on any x-ray equipment. The shielding must always be installed along the proper wall and maintained regularly by careful inspection.

But what happens when these principles are followed and shielding still wears down? It is possible and it is a risk that can't be taken. The dangers of worn down radiation shielding puts the lives of both hospital employees and patients in serious danger.

X-Rays Are Only Minimally Dangerous When Properly Shielded

X-rays are a form of radiation and there is always a possibility that they could cause or contribute to the development of cancer. However, a properly shielded machine using the most up-to-date technology is safe. One estimate find that just 0.4 percent of cancers in America are caused by these scans. The highest risk increase is after a person turns 75, when risk may be increased by nearly two percent.

This is a very small risk increase and one that is usually easily negated by a healthy body. Unfortunately, worn down shielding can increase radiation exposure and worsen the possibility of developing cancer earlier. That's why hospitals need to do what they can to ensure their shielding remains strong.

Catching Failed Shielding Before It Becomes A Problem

When nuclear shielding on an x-ray machine is starting to wear down, it can be hard to notice it without professional help. That's why a good radiation protection program is necessary. This is a written document that has procedures and policies that ensure the machine is used properly. For example, there should be regular (monthly or bi-monthly) inspections of the shielding by a radiation specialist.

Using these specialists is crucial because they can spot a problem before it becomes a big deal. They will identify small wears or even potential failures and work around them in a way that protects those in the hospital from serious radiation sickness or even an increased risk of cancer.

That's why it is so important to call a professional nuclear shielding expert when working with x-ray machines. They can ensure that they stay safe and avoid unnecessarily increasing the danger of hospital employees and patients.


23 February 2017

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