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Use of out-of-field contact shielding on patients in medical imaging: A review of current guidelines, recommendations and legislative documents

(EURADOS WG12) Candela-Juan, Cristian; Ciraj-Bjelac, Olivera; Sans Merce, Marta; Dabin, Jeremie; Faj, Dario; Gallagher, Aoife; de las Heras Gala, Hugo; Knežević, Željka; Malchair, Françoise; De Monte, Francesca; Simantirakis, George; Theodorakou, Chrysoula (2021) Use of out-of-field contact shielding on patients in medical imaging: A review of current guidelines, recommendations and legislative documents. Physica medica, 86 . pp. 44-56. ISSN 1120-1797

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The use of patient contact-shielding has become a topic of intensive scientific debate. While it has been common practice during the last decades, some studies have questioned the efficiency of using such shielding while others have highlighted the inconsistencies in its application. The objective of this work is to review current recommendations and legislative documents on the use of out-of-field shielding in X-ray imaging, including those from national authorities and from international and national organisations and professional bodies. The review, performed within the framework of the activities of EURADOS Working Group 12, covers available recommendations on use of contact shielding in adult, pregnant and paediatric patients in general radiography, fluoroscopy, computed tomography, mammography and dental radiology. It includes a comprehensive search of 83 documents from 32 countries and 6 international organisations over the last 39 years. In general, using shielding is recommended only under two conditions: if it does not compromise the diagnostic task and the performance of the procedure and/or if it reassures the patient and comforters that they are appropriately protected against potentially harmful effects of radiation. There are very few specific regulatory requirements to use shielding in a particular imaging modality, although they may consider use of shielding either as part of good radiological practice or as requirements for availability of protective or ancillary tools, without further specification of their use. There is a wide variety of positions among documents that recommend out-offield shielding, those that do not recommend it and those that are not specific. Therefore, evidence-based consensus is still needed to ensure best and consistent practice.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Patient shielding ; Out-of-field ; Medical imaging ; Review
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Physics
NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences > Radiation Science
Divisions: Division of Materials Chemistry
Depositing User: Željka Knežević Medija
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2021 08:28
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmp.2021.05.017

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