Lead-lining an x-ray room not only protects staff members but also patients from potential health risks. In this post, we'll explore why it is important to use lead lining, the stages involved to lead-line your x-ray room, plus other lead-lining considerations!
What is lead-lining and what does it do?
Lead-lining consists of a lead sheet, which can either be applied to the wall surface or installed into panels. The resulting thicknesses vary based on how much radiation shielding you need for your x-ray room. it's important not only that they are properly specified but also made from high quality material.
Lead lining is an important part of protecting patients from x-ray and gamma ray exposure. It also helps protect staff members who work in close proximity, such as radiology technicians or physicians.
The 3 stages of lead-lining for x-ray rooms
1. Completion of the equipment room drawing and radiation shielding intake form
The equipment room drawing shows how the equipment is arranged, what’s outside the walls that could be impacted by radiation, and whether the room is on the first or second floor.
You must also complete a radiation shielding intake form. This asks for the composition of the material within the building, as well as any x-rays that you’ll be performing such as cross table shots. Once completed, these documents need to be sent to a physicist for checking.
2. Getting the physicist’s report pre-installation
The physicist will provide a report based on the equipment room drawing that outlines exactly how much lead is required for this project and where it’s needed. They can make recommendations from all information given before the installation begins - they don't need to go on site. The turnaround time varies, but it is anywhere between 2 to 14 business days.
3. Installing lead-lining for the x-ray room
The physicist’s report will tell you how much lead is needed for your x-ray room. You can have this delivered right to your facility and we'll help coordinate any contractors or electricians based on the physicist’s lead-lining recommendation.
Installs can range from 2 to 3 days depending on the type of facility (i.e. chiropractic facilities, urgent care). A system training will be provided once the build out is complete.
Other considerations for lead-lining an x-ray room
Lead-lining the operator area
You need to lead-line the operator area, as well as the walls of an x-ray room. The operator area in a traditional x-ray room usually comes with a lead-lined x-ray window typically 12x12 inch. This allows the operator to see the patient while taking the x-ray in a safe environment where they’re not exposing themselves to radiation.
Lead-lining x-ray room ceilings and floors
You may also have to lead-line your x-ray room ceiling and floor, especially if there are people above or below your floor.
The type of building material may also contribute to whether they need to be lead-lined. For example, if you have a wood frame you may have to lead-line as there’s not enough material to stop the radiation from going through the floor.
Lead-lining x-ray rooms based on usage
Chiropractic offices use a minimal amount of x-rays and will have less lead requirements than a hospital doing hundreds of x-rays a day. The frequency and types of x-rays performed are all covered in the radiation shielding intake form before the physicist comes up with the shielding report.
If you are looking to build or upgrade an x-ray room, we can help. We can draw up your equipment room drawing, help implement the lead requirements from your physicist’s report, and assist you throughout the installation process. Our team of experts is ready to help lead-line your x-ray room so get in touch with us today!