Why do doctors wear protective clothing when taking x-rays and why don’t patients need to wear it?

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In the hospital “X-ray“, we can find that the physician responsible for filming will be wearing a lead suit type of protective clothing, and patients are usually not required to wear protective clothing.

China’s Ministry of Health in 2002 issued the “radiation work health protection management approach” clearly requires: medical personnel to patients and examinees for diagnosis, treatment, should strictly control the dose of illumination, adjacent to the irradiation of sensitive organs and tissues should be shielded protection. Especially for pregnant women and young children for medical irradiation, should be informed in advance of the impact on health.

So why don’t doctors remind their patients to be well protected before doing x-rays? Many doctors say that the radiation dose from x-rays to which patients are exposed is so small that there is no need to take protective measures.

For a more scientific statement refer to the statement issued by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) on April 2, 2019, “In light of advances in x-ray low-dose imaging technology, as well as automated exposure (AEC) technology, which have resulted in providing patients with protection that may instead compromise the benefits of radiographic imaging for the patient, it is recommended that patients be discontinued from being provided with protection from such radiation. “Therefore, as of March 1, 2021, children in the United States will not have to continue to use lead jacket shielding when undergoing x-rays.

First, patient radiation shielding does little to reduce patient radiation because lead jackets do not block internal scatter from the imaging region of interest (FOV) site, which is the largest source of radiation exposure. Therefore, providing patients with radiation shielding outside the FOV is of almost negligible protective value.

Second, several clinical studies have shown that radiation shielding leads to an increase in repeat examinations, rather than defeating the original purpose of radiation shielding.

AEC function of Dynamic DR machine PLD7600

Nowadays, CT, DR and other X-ray equipment have automatic exposure control functions, and radiation shielding will have a negative impact on automatic exposure control and image quality. For example, PLD7600, the dynamic DR machine of Prudential manufacturer, has the automatic exposure control (AEC) function, which can automatically control the X-ray dose according to the thickness, physiological and pathological characteristics of the body being photographed, so that the images taken by different parts of the body and different patients have the same amount of sensitivity to the light, thus achieving a good image effect; on the other hand, this equipment adopts a removable filter grille design, which can be pulled out during the examination of a child or low-dose part, and significantly reduce the image quality. On the other hand, this equipment adopts removable filter grid design, for children or low-dose parts, it can be pulled out during the examination, which greatly reduces the radiation dose.

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