Operator/Other Staff Positions Inside Surgery Rooms
We have been contacted by a few dentists regarding the need to take x-rays when the staff cannot leave the surgery during aerosol generating procedures. The following are our recommendations for this situation;
1. Use the largest surgery possible – this will mean that the operator of the x-ray unit and any other staff within the room will be able to obtain the greatest possible distance between the x-ray tube/patient undergoing an x-ray procedure (‘at least’ 1.5 metres would be appropriate).
2. The operator and other staff in the room must never be in the direct line of the x-ray beam – and the x-ray beam must still not be aimed directly at the entrance doorway to a surgery.
3. The most appropriate position would be at the foot end of the patient couch (and up against the wall of the surgery room) – please see the attached diagrams as examples.
Essentially work on the premise that the closer you are to the foot end of the patient couch and the closer you are to the wall the better – however we do appreciate that this may well depend on how far the exposure cord can stretch.
4. SG&A draw diagrams of all the rooms we assess when we visit and additionally will have carried out dose rate surveys on your rooms – so please do not hesitate to ring us with any proposed rooms/positions you will be looking to use for these procedures so that we can confirm they are appropriate.
5. In consequence local rules will need to be amended to include any changes and staff must be made aware of these (and sign a form to indicate they are).
6. An additional note regarding the use of appropriate operator positions in the rooms will need to be entered into your radiation risk assessment as well.
Comment: A position in the room deemed appropriate for an operator or any other staff would be appropriate for pregnant staff as well (again SG&A will give an opinion on this on consultation) – however we do recommend that the employer and the pregnant member of staff discuss this as there will be other health and safety issues to consider additional to radiation safety. If in doubt do contact us.
Stephen Green CRadP MSRP MIPEM MBIR
Radiation Protection Adviser
Medical Physics Expert