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DEP Urges Medical Facilities to Take Proper Precautions With X-Ray Equipment to Avoid Health Hazards
Date:3/3/2010

  • Re-evaluate calibrations, techniques, protocols and output of all X-ray and radiation therapy devices to ensure optimum use;
  • Develop and adhere to proper protocols for X-ray exams and individual patient profiles (i.e. size, thickness, patient's age, etc.);
  • Ensure educational training programs for medical staff include specific courses and information on patient radiation protection and equipment quality assurance;
  • Use appropriate techniques for pediatric patients;
  • Review the American Society for Radiation Oncology's six-point patient protection plan aimed at improving radiation therapy safety and reducing the chance of medical errors;
  • Submit all Medical Reportable Event notifications in a timely manner per DEP regulations; and
  • Allow only physicians credentialed with an appropriate medical specialty board to perform CT and fluoroscopy procedures. Continuing education in patient radiation safety, image recording, biological effects, and quality assurance and control is a regulatory requirement for all X-ray operators.

"Radiation therapy and diagnostic X-ray procedures for medical purposes have benefits that far outweigh the radiation risks, but unnecessary or excessive radiation exposure must be avoided," Hanger said. "The recently publicized, but very rare, medical events with tragic consequences serve as a poignant reminder that any medical proce
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
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