How to reduce radiation and meet CT scan room requirements
Is your CT scan room protected? Discover the ideal CT scan room design with floor plan dimensions, shielding doors, lead-lined windows, and X-ray screens.
A CT scan, which stands for “computerised tomography scan”, uses X-rays to establish detailed imaging of the inside of the body. CT scans, also known as CAT scans, are common procedures performed in the healthcare sector. For example, in 2019, the NHS reported over 470,000 as part of their Diagnostic Imaging Dataset Statistical Release.
However, because CT scans involve performing X-rays, participants and staff must be aware of the dangers and protected from the radiation. This safety issue is solvable by ensuring the CT scanning room is built with the right protective radiation measures.
How much radiation is generated from a CT scan?
A CT scan will deliver around one to ten mSv (millisievert) of ionizing radiation. Putting this into perspective, a person receives three mSv from radioactive material in their natural surroundings every year. Professional radiographers will reduce the radiation levels to a minimum to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure during CT scans.
X-ray detectors and beam filters are available and can be adopted to reduce radiation during CT scans. Each CT scan can be specifically suited for the individual size and weight of the patient or body part. So, while CT scans are safe for patients receiving them on rare occasions, it’s radiologists and healthcare professionals that must prevent themselves from being overly exposed to high levels of radiation.
CT scan room requirements
Before providing the necessary protective uniform to avoid radiation exposure, the CT scan room demands an appropriate design. A comprehensive floor plan is necessary to ensure the layout of the CT room meets radiation safety regulations. Requirements for the CT scan room depend on a few important factors, such as:
- The type of CT model and CT equipment in operation
- The positioning of the CT model and equipment relating to the surrounding walls
- The projected number of procedures per day
- Wall construction and other existing materials
Typically, CT scan rooms witness regular workloads, so upgrading the area with the necessary protection is vital. We suggest at least 1/16-inch lead shielding for all the walls, floors, doors, ceilings, and operator X-ray screens. Lead is the ideal material for radiation protection due to its superior density. However, if you’re unable to provide lead properties to all aspects of the room, the concrete equivalent is a thickness of four to six inches.
Getting the CT scan room floor plan and design right
Before building a CT scan room, it’s critical to establish a comprehensive floor plan to streamline and benefit the overall construction process. Recommended room dimensions vary from a minimum of 18’0 x 20’0 or 24’0 x 32’0. You should include the walls and windows within the regulatory requirements and mark them to scale in your floor plan. It’s also vital to mark the following two elements in your CT scan room floor plan:
The Gantry Area
This part of the CT scan room is where the patient is examined and holds the radiation source and radiation detection technology. It will contain the patient’s bed and the CT scan X-ray cylinder.
The Control Room
This part of the room is where the radiologists operate the CT console during procedures. Imperative to the control room’s design is the capability of the radiologists to always see the patient throughout the CT scanning process. Another integral part of this design involves X-ray screen protection. Essentially, the operations area must be fitted with X-ray screen protection to keep the radiologists and technicians safe.
Raybloc X-Ray Protection provide two versions of protective X-ray screens. Our Modular Fixed X-Ray Screens offer a sleek, clean, and modern frameless design, guaranteeing maximum protection with a state-of-the-art appearance.
Alternatively, our Fixed Operator X-Ray Screens are ideal for radiation shielding with a specific U-shaped barrier. Manufactured to meet the latest NHS HTM infection control standards, they can easily match existing interior design and decoration with exact dimensions.
CT Scan Room Door
The door between the gantry and operation areas should have appropriate radiation shielding and central transparency. We recommend this service door have a lead-lining of at least 2mm thickness. The entrance door to the CT scan room must be double-lead-lined with a minimum 2mm thickness, but it can go without central transparency.
Raybloc manufactures fully customisable CT scan room lead-lined doors that are ideal for radiation protection. Built to the latest NHS (HTM 58) hygiene regulations in infection control, our door sets are available in a range of finishes from wood veneer, pre-primer painted, plastic laminate and PVC.
To increase the security and safety of your CT scanning environments, we advise installing flush-mounted door warning lights. Our LED flat panel lighting complies with infection control standards while remaining CE marked, and RPA approved to meet all UK and European lighting legislations.
CT Scan Room Windows
All windows should include lead-lined protection with a thickness between 1.80mm – 3.5 mm, that can be customised for various radiation levels [Link to previous blog not yet published (lead-lined windows)] advised by the RPA (Radiation Protection Adviser).
Raybloc provides bespoke X-Ray Protective Viewing Windows ideal for all types of CT scan rooms. Constructed to NHS HTM standards, our windows are available in multiple privacy panel options and can be specified to any size, shape or thickness required.
Speak to the experts in radiation protection
At Raybloc, we manufacture and install the highest-quality radiation protection products across various industries. With over 35 years of experience, our X-ray shielding keeps you, your staff, and your patients safe from unnecessary radiation exposure. So, if you require comprehensive radiation protection for your CT scan room, get in touch. We can support you at every stage, from design to installation.
To find out more about our X-ray door sets, download our eBook today.
Do not skip corners when it comes to radiation protection. It is what shields you, your staff, and your patients from harmful radiation. There is no compromise when it comes to people’s lives. Call today to speak to one of our x-ray protection experts on 01902 633383 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.