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Imaging's Invisible Dangers
Prolonged radiation exposure can cause lasting effects.
Carol Cappella
Publish Date: September 19, 2014   |  Tags:   Staff Safety
C-arm placement ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT Judicious use of imaging and proper placement of the C-arm are keys to protecting patients and staff.

Radiation won't wrench your back. It doesn't cut or leave a bruise. But that doesn't mean the dangers of exposure are any less real than other surgical hazards that leave immediate marks. You might not feel it today, next week, next month or even next year, but repeated exposure to radiation increases future risks of cancer and bone loss. Is that worth overlooking proper safety precautions whenever a C-arm is switched on? That answer is obvious. Now try your luck with these questions.

Fluoroscopy alarms on C-arm units typically sound after ________ of uninterrupted use.

a. 2 minutesc. 7 minutes
b. 5 minutesd. 10 minutes

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When not actively involved in the procedure, you should stand at least ______ away from the X-ray field.

a. 6 feetc. 10 feet
b. 8 feetd. 12 feet

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What personal protection is mandatory during imaging procedures?

a. lead glassesc. radiology gloves
b. lead apronsd. all of the above

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0.5-mm lead aprons protect wearers from approximately ______ of scattered radiation.

a. 75%c. 90%
b. 80%d. 95%

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Where on lead aprons should staff and physicians wear dosimeters to capture the most accurate readings of their exposure to radiation scatter?

a. the midlinec. upper right side
b. upper left sided. the collar

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staff and surgeons TEAM DEFENSE Staff and surgeons — especially younger surgeons — are becoming more conscious of the dangers associated with radiation exposure.

What are the recommended annual exposure dose limits for the extremities, according to the As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) principle?

a. 500 milliremsc. 5,000 millirems
b. 1,000 milliremsd. 10,000 millirems

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To help protect patients, the image intensifier should be placed as close as possible to the intended imaging site.

a. trueb. false

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