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Protective X-Ray Lead Aprons


In the world of medicine and radiography, x-ray lead aprons are commonly used for patients taking x-ray. A main purpose for this is basically to protect the patients and health care professionals from radiation. This purpose is patterned from the fact that x-ray lead aprons have the capability to decrease the dose of radiation to the reproductive organs from a variety of diagnostic x-ray procedures.

Speaking of radiation, it is necessary to note and understand that radiation has the strong potential of causing mutations in the germ cells that may be passed on to future generations. Nevertheless, there are certain studies that suggest that the doses necessary to produce genetic damage is quite high, that is, much higher than the usual diagnostic x-ray procedures. And, it is in that sense that the x-ray lead aprons serve a precautionary purpose to reduce dose.

For much emphasis, numerous studies regarding x-ray lead aprons have noted that x-ray lead aprons are not always taken into consideration for patients undergoing procedures involving radiation. It is only taken into consideration if the person is occupationally exposed. In relation to this, it has been noted that if a particular apron is in the primary x-ray beam between the patients and the x-ray machine, the x-ray lead aprons have the strength to stop at least 90 percent of radiation from entering your body. However, it is necessary to note that it is not practical in this field to place an x-ray lead apron over a body party of interest to the physician, as what many people think.

There are certain regulations that require the x-ray lead aprons to be inspected visually every six months. Basically, this requirement is patterned from the standards that are set forth by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), which holds the rule that healthcare organizations must perform inspections on medical equipment, including the x-ray lead aprons. It is just somehow necessary to note that the Commission generally allows facilities to develop their own policies and procedures to evaluate their x-ray lead aprons. This inspection is typically suggested especially if the x-ray lead aprons are heavily employed and are not always properly or carefully stored after use. A concrete example for this condition is when the x-ray lead aprons are folded or filed up instead of placed on a hanger.

The x-ray lead aprons then in general are very effective at absorbing diagnostic x-rays to parts of the body protected by the apron. However, whether or not the x-ray lead aprons are worn, it is interesting to note that the allowable exposure to the body is generally governed by the occupational exposure limits. And, just note that x-ray lead aprons are not the only means of shielding the body as there are still some protections out there now.
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