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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-25

Assessment of occupational radiation exposure among medical staff in health-care facilities in the Eastern Province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Department of Environmental Health, College of Applied Medical Sciences, University of Dammam, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Khaled Fikry Salama
Industrial Hygiene and Air Pollution, P.O. Box: 2435, Dammam - 31451
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.183832

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Introduction: Radiation exposure poses hazards for health-care providers as well as patients in health-care facilities (HCFs). Radiographic imaging is extremely valuable as a diagnostic tool in medicine, but ionizing radiation and computed tomography (CT) scan carry well-known potential risks. Personnel and radiation safety monitoring is an important safety precaution in the practice of radiography. Aim: The study aimed to assess the occupational radiation exposure and safety protection among medical staff in HCFs in the Eastern Province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Materials and Methods: Total of 4 HCFs with radiological services were randomly selected for the study in the period from January to April 2013. The radiation survey has been carried out by the measurement of radiation in the x-ray and CT-scan room at different points of the diagnostic, imaging, and waiting rooms of different hospitals. The radiation safety was assessed by using a questionnaire Results: The results of our study are surprising and alarming. Data revealed that there are a significant association between the levels of radiation exposure in all selected hospitals concerning  imaging and waiting X-ray and CT-scan operating room (P < 0.01). For radiation safety, most hospitals have lead aprons and thyroid shields in place, but only about 50% have lead glasses and lead shields, showing that many hospitals still lack essential equipment. Moreover, actual utilization rate of radiation dosimeters are 57.7% and 68.9%, respectively. Conclusion: All medical staff as well as patients are at risk of exposure to x-ray and CT-scan radiation exposure, and the levels are exceeding the standard guidelines. Many hospitals still lack safety protection tools and there is a complete absence of radiation protection equipment. Further studies should be conducted to highlight different aspects of radiation exposure dose and safety protection tools.


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