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January 27, 2020

X-ray Shielding May No Longer Be Necessary

X-ray Shielding May No Longer Be Necessary

According to a recent New York Times article, using a lead apron during X-Ray procedures may not actually be necessary. X-ray shielding has been common practice for decades and is a law in many states, but new research is showing that there may be no benefit at all to using the lead drape. In fact it could have negative effects. The purpose of shielding during an X-Ray is to protect other areas of the body, especially reproductive organs, during a scan. Unfortunately, the lead drapes can:

  • Reduce the quality of the scan
  • Increase radiation exposure
  • Create the need for a second scan

Resistance to Ending X-ray Shielding

Doctors and patients alike are hesitant to give up the age-old practice of shielding during an X-Ray. Most people fear radiation, and wearing a lead apron gives the patient peace of mind during the scan. However, the following factors show why it is no longer necessary:

x-ray shielding

  • The amount of radiation in a scan today is a slim 5% of what was used during the 1950s
  • It is difficult to place the lead drape in a precise position
  • Using shielding during an X-Ray can make the machine to emit more radiation
  • Such shielding cannot protect against X-ray scatter inside the body

Professional organizations, including the American College of Radiology, are now endorsing the idea that routine X-ray shielding should be discontinued as a general practice.

On the Cutting Edge

The radiology department at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group is ahead of the trend with ending X-ray shielding. We have been practicing this way for the past two years. We have made it our priority to educate our patients on the safety of X-ray scans when performed without shielding. For all of your orthopedic X-ray scanning needs, you can trust the professionals at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group.

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