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.
Certified Medical Health Physicist