Answer to Question #9699 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Medical and Dental Equipment/Shielding — Shielding

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

I have a question about the leaded skirts that hang down from the fluoroscopy tower. From my understanding, this piece of equipment is crucial for the shielding of the radiologist and technologist in the room. With that said, is it ever acceptable to remove this shielding during a fluoroscopy exam or is it mandatory for this piece of equipment to stay on the fluoroscopy unit at all times?

In general, the lead drape should always be used, unless it interferes with a sterile field. In either case, persons working in the x-ray room should also be wearing lead aprons. Whether the use of the drape is required depends on the regulations in the state you are in. You should consult your appropriate state regulations as necessary.

As an example, the state of Ohio indicates the following in Ohio Administrative Code OAC 3701:1-66-07(A)(11):

“For undertable fluoroscopic equipment, protective drapes, or other devices, at least 0.25 millimeter lead equivalent shall be provided between the patient and the individual operating the fluoroscopic equipment to intercept scattered radiation which would otherwise reach the fluoroscopist and others near the x-ray unit, except when such drapes or other devices would compromise the sterile field. Such devices shall not substitute for wearing required protective apparel.”

Kennith ‘Duke’ Lovins, CHP
Health Physicist
Answer posted on 15 July 2011. 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.