Answer to Question #641 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Radiation Workers — Pregnant Workers

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:


Should a pregnant radiographer stand out during fluoroscopy?


There is no need for a pregnant radiographer or other staff, who are needed in the room, to stand outside the room during a fluoroscopic or any diagnostic radiology procedure as long as she is wearing a lead apron. It would be prudent, but not required, for a pregnant worker to wear a personal radiation monitor (usually called a radiation badge) under the apron at the abdominal level to monitor the amount of radiation coming through the apron. Although this is not the amount of radiation to which the fetus is exposed, readings from the badge can help determine if additional precautions should be taken.

Staff can stay in the room and also reduce their radiation dose by simply stepping away from the area where the beam is entering the patient. Increasing the distance away from that spot by moving up or down the length of the table or stepping away from the table can significantly decrease radiation dose.

Kelly Classic
Certified Medical Health Physicist

Ask the Experts is posting answers using only SI (the International System of Units) in accordance with international practice. To convert these to traditional units we have prepared a conversion table. You can also view a diagram to help put the radiation information presented in this question and answer in perspective. Explanations of radiation terms can be found here.
Answer posted on 8 February 2017. The information posted on this web page is intended as general reference information only. Specific facts and circumstances may affect the applicability of concepts, materials, and information described herein. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice. To the best of our knowledge, answers are correct at the time they are posted. Be advised that over time, requirements could change, new data could be made available, and Internet links could change, affecting the correctness of the answers. Answers are the professional opinions of the expert responding to each question; they do not necessarily represent the position of the Health Physics Society.