Radiation Safety: How to Reduce Radiation Exposure and Meet CT Room Requirements

As a leading provider of radiation protection solutions, we understand the importance of radiation safety in healthcare facilities. In this blog, we will be discussing how exactly radiation exposure within CT rooms, amongst other ionizing radiation-utilising rooms, is optimally kept below regulated levels to ensure the safety of the patients and staff involved. With the increasing use of medical imaging technologies such as CT scans, it is crucial to take proactive steps to protect both patients and healthcare workers from unnecessary radiation exposure.

We will provide practical tips and insights on how to optimise radiation protection measures in CT scan rooms, as well as introduce our latest products that can enhance radiation safety and compliance with regulations. Join us as we explore the latest trends and best practices in radiation safety!

What are CT Scan Rooms?

CT scan rooms are specialised facilities within hospitals where patients undergo computed tomography (CT) imaging tests. CT scans use X-rays to create detailed images of the body, which can help diagnose a wide range of medical conditions. Unlike traditional X-rays, which create two-dimensional images, CT scans produce cross-sectional images that can provide a more comprehensive view of the body’s internal structures.

CT scans use ionizing radiation, which can be harmful in large doses, but the amount of radiation used in a typical CT scan is generally considered safe for most patients. The radiologic technologists who operate CT scanners are trained to minimise patients’ exposure to radiation while still capturing high-quality images.

CT Scan Rooms Dimensions

When designing a CT scan room, there are specific dimensions that must be considered to ensure optimal radiation safety for both patients and staff. The room must be large enough to accommodate the CT scanner and other necessary equipment while allowing for ease of movement around the patient. A typical CT scan room should measure at least 6 m by 6 m with a ceiling height of at least 2.75 m.

Additionally, the walls, ceiling, and floor of the CT scan room must be adequately shielded with high-density materials such as lead or concrete to minimise the amount of radiation exposure to staff and patients. The level of radiation shielding required will depend on factors such as the type of CT scanner and the amount of radiation emitted during the procedure. At Raybloc (X-ray Protection) Ltd, we offer a range of radiation shielding solutions that can be customised to meet the specific requirements of your CT scan room, ensuring optimal radiation safety and compliance with regulations.

CT scan room - Raybloc Xray Protection

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 lead equivalence between 1.80 mm Pb – 3.5 mm Pb, that can be customised for various radiation levels 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.

3 ways to reduce radiation exposure and protect

Minimise time spent in areas with elevated radiation levels

The level of radiation protection specified by an RPA for a given room takes into consideration the amount of time the people present within the room will spend in there. The less time you spend in the controlled area, the lower your radiation dose will be and the less risk you will be to adverse effects of radiation exposure.

Maximise distance from the source of radiation

Just like a light source, the intensity of the radiation becomes much weaker the further you stand away from it. To keep the radiation dose you receive to a minimum, keeping the distance between you and the source a maximum is essential. Of course, this may not necessarily be up to you for you to receive the treatment you require or due to constraints with the room for staff, but all of this will be taken into account when occupying the room to guarantee your safety.

Use shielding for radiation sources

There are many types of radiation protective equipment to keep you safe in the presence of ionizing radiation. Raybloc specialise in radiation shielding fixtures to provide physical fixed barriers between you and the radiation source, however, things such as lead-lined clothing can also help to reduce radiation doses in places where space is not so available.

Final words

In conclusion, CT scan rooms are specialised facilities within hospitals that use X-rays to produce detailed images of the body’s internal structures. To ensure optimal radiation shielding for patients and staff, it is essential to design the CT scan room with the appropriate dimensions and adequate radiation shielding. Keeping radiation exposure to a minimum can also be achieved by using radiation protection garments, monitoring radiation exposure levels, and adhering to established safety protocols.

At Raybloc (X-ray Protection) Ltd, we are committed to providing innovative solutions to enhance radiation protection in healthcare facilities. By working together, we can optimise radiation protection measures and reduce the risks associated with medical imaging technologies.

FAQs

Can someone be in the room during a CT scan?

Yes, in most cases, someone can be in the room during a CT scan. However, it is essential to limit the number of people in the room to those necessary for the procedure and to ensure that they wear appropriate radiation protection garments. The level of radiation exposure during a CT scan is relatively low, and the radiologic technologist operating the scanner will take measures to minimise exposure.

Why are CT scan rooms cold?

CT scan rooms are often kept cold to help maintain the temperature of the CT scanner and other equipment, which can generate a significant amount of heat during operation. The cooling system in the room helps to dissipate this heat, preventing the equipment from overheating and potentially malfunctioning. Additionally, the cool temperature can help to create a more comfortable environment for patients who may be required to lie still for an extended period during the scan.

To find out more about our X-ray door sets, download our eBook today.

Lead Lined Wall Panelling

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 enquiries@raybloc.co.uk. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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