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Radiation Protection For Patient

What Is Radiation Protection?

  • Radiation protection, sometimes known as radiological protection, is the science and practice of protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.

  • Ionizing radiation is widely used in industry and medicine, and can present a significant health hazard. It causes microscopic damage to living tissue, which can result in skin burns and radiation sickness at high exposures (known as “tissue effects”), and statistically elevated risks of cancer at low exposures (“stochastic effects”).

  • Fundamental to radiation protection is the reduction of expected dose and the measurement of human dose uptake. [1]

Principles Of Radiation Protection

  • Radiation protection can be divided into occupational radiation protection, which is the protection of workers, medical radiation protection, which is the protection of patients, and public radiation protection, which is protection of individual members of the public, and of the population as a whole. [1]

  • There are three main principles of radiation protection in radiography:

    • Time: Reducing the exposure time will reduce the effective dose proportionally.

    • Distance: Increasing distance reduces dose.

    • Shielding: Using personnel protective equipment such gown/ apron and/or shielding will reduce the amount of unwanted radiation reaching the patient and thus reducing dose to patient.

How are you protected during imaging examination?

During an X-ray examination, radiation dose to the patient will be kept to a very low level by:

  • Provision of radiation protection device:

    • Radiation protection device is available in all imaging (X-ray) department. Examples of protective devices commonly available in imaging department are Lead (Pb) protective gown/ apron, thyroid shield, gonad shield and mobile lead screen. (Image 1, Image 2, Image 3)

    • Each device will be provided during the examination. The type of device used will depend on the type of examination performed.

  • Correct Exposure Factors:

    • The radiographers will select the exposure factors as low as reasonably achievable in order to acquire images of optimum quality.

Image1: Lead Apron Image 2: Thyroid Shield Image 3: Gonad Shield


  • Justification:

    • No unnecessary use of radiation is permitted unless the advantages are outweighing the risk of using it.

  • Avoiding repeat examination:

    • In order to acquire good images on X-ray film you are required to follow instruction given during the examination process. In the most unlikely event the images acquired will be of no diagnostic value if instruction given is not followed. Then examination needs to be repeated. Repeat examination will unnecessarily increased increase radiation dose to patient.

    • Your assistance is very much required for this purpose i.e. to avoid repeat examination.


1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionising_radiation_protection


Last Reviewed : 9 June 2014
Writer : Mohd Syubli b. Adnan
Accreditor : Norman Serbastian Alangaram