Answer to Question #8696 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Medical and Dental Equipment/Shielding — Shielding

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


In performing x-ray examinations for pediatrics, sometimes parents/guardians are required to hold the patient still. Must the parents/guardians be protected with a lead apron/gown? And why?

All persons exposed to ionizing radiation should be protected from unnecessary radiation dose. In the case of a family member (or anyone else for that matter) holding a patient for a medical x ray, a lead apron is worn to provide shielding from the scattered x rays. Since any amount of radiation dose may correspond to a small risk of health effects, the goal is to reduce the radiation dose to reduce the risk. In the United States, it is common for regulations to require that anyone in an x-ray room be behind a shield or be wearing a lead apron.

Ken "Duke" Lovins, CHP
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