Radiation exposure from computed tomography (CT) is associated with deleterious effects. In-plane bismuth shields (IBS) have been suggested as an effective method to reduce radiation exposure to radiosensitive organs during CT.
To explore the availability and usage of modern shielding tools (IBS) and conventional radiation shields for patients undergoing CT exams in five hospitals in Ahvaz, Iran.
Six radiological technology students were sent to five different hospitals of Ahvaz as observers. Data of the availability and usage of shielding tools for patients undergoing CT exams were collected.
In the five hospitals evaluated, there were no IBS found. In each X-ray room at least one lead apron was available. A gonad shield and thyroid collar were available in 70% and 62% of X-ray rooms, respectively. Also there was no available lens shield. Shielding the eyes and thyroid gland were often neglected. Gonads and breasts were shielded occasionally.
Patients have received avoidable doses of radiation and this is a reason for concern and call for action. Adherence to safety guidelines is recommended. The provision and routine use of IBS to radiosensitive organs as well as lead-shields to the organs outside the field being scanned should be mandatory.