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Open access

Vahid Karami and Mansour Zabihzadeh

Abstract

Background

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.

Objectives

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.

Open access

Alireza Ghodsvali, Vahid Farzaneh, Hamid Bakhshabadi, Zahra Zare, Zahra Karami, Mohsen Mokhtarian and Isabel S. Carvalho

Open access

Alireza Ghodsvali, Vahid Farzaneh, Hamid Bakhshabadi, Zahra Zare, Zahra Karami, Mohsen Mokhtarian and Isabel. S. Carvalho

Abstract

An understanding of the aerodynamic and biophysical properties of barley malt is necessary for the appropriate design of equipment for the handling, shipping, dehydration, grading, sorting and warehousing of this strategic crop. Malting is a complex biotechnological process that includes steeping; germination and finally, the dehydration of cereal grains under controlled temperature and humidity conditions. In this investigation, the biophysical properties of barley malt were predicted using two models of artificial neural networks as well as response surface methodology. Stepping time and germination time were selected as the independent variables and 1 000 kernel weight, kernel density and terminal velocity were selected as the dependent variables (responses). The obtained outcomes showed that the artificial neural network model, with a logarithmic sigmoid activation function, presents more precise results than the response surface model in the prediction of the aerodynamic and biophysical properties of produced barley malt. This model presented the best result with 8 nodes in the hidden layer and significant correlation coefficient values of 0.783, 0.767 and 0.991 were obtained for responses one thousand kernel weight, kernel density, and terminal velocity, respectively. The outcomes indicated that this novel technique could be successfully applied in quantitative and qualitative monitoring within the malting process.