In 1971, Godfrey Hounsfield devised the first CT (computerized tomography) scan equipment. He combined an x-ray machine and a computer to take pictures of the living brain. His Nobel Prize-winning invention detected a brain tumor in a 41-year-old female patient. In 1975, the first whole-body scanner was developed, which completely revolutionized diagnostic medicine.
Modern CT scanners can image any part of the body, from the tiniest blood vessels to large organs. They are indispensable for planning medical treatments such as surgery or radiotherapy. However, this incredible technology emits hazardous ionizing radiation, requiring the protection of radiologic staff and patients.
What Is the Radiation Exposure of a CT scan?
The radiation dose received from a CT scan depends on the size of the body part under examination, the type of scanner, and the type of scan procedure.
As in many aspects of medicine, there are benefits and risks associated with the x-ray equipment used for CT scans. If results show a benign finding, there may have been unnecessary exposure to cancer-inducing radiation. When practicing diagnostic radiography, the ALARA principle of keeping the dose as low as reasonably achievable is paramount.
Here is a table showing approximate radiation levels for different types of CT scans, compared to the annual background radiation of 3 mSv:
|Average Radiation Exposure for CT Scan Procedures|
by an Adult Patient(in mSv)
|Background Radiation Equivalent
|Lung cancer screening||1.5||6|
|Coronary artery calcification||3.0||12|
|Head (repeated without and with contrast material)||4.0||16|
|Upper gastrointestinal tract||6.0||24|
|Abdomen–pelvis (with contrast)||17.0||68|
|Suspected aneurysm or dissection||24.0||96|
The Different Types of CT Scans
A CT scan comprises a sequence of x-ray images taken at different angles around the target area. Most scanners have a donut-shaped gantry housing an x-ray tube that rotates around a platform on which the patient lies. The collected images are processed by a computer to create detailed cross-sectional slices or 3-d composites.
There are two categories of CT scans—those that don’t need preparation, and those that require contrast material administered intravenously and/or orally:
1. CT Scans That Don’t Require Preparation
- These scans detect bone fractures, ligament injuries, and dislocations.
- Target areas are arms and legs, hands and feet, sternum and clavicles, hip joints, sacrum, and coccyx.
- They are very useful for investigating possible facial tumors, polyps, infections, and other anomalies in the mastoids, jawbone, sinuses, and middle and inner ear.
- Dental CT scan equipment also doesn’t require preparation.
2. CT Scans That Do Require Preparation
- Intravenous iodine and/or oral barium contrast enhances the detail in blood vessels and soft tissues.
- These scans are particularly useful for pinpointing infarction, tumors, lesions, stroke, hemorrhages, and blockages.
- Target areas include the head, neck, spine, chest, kidneys and urinary tract, circulatory system, and any combination of organs in the abdominopelvic cavity.
What Is the Best Equipment for CT Scans?
CT scans require much higher doses of radiation than ordinary x-ray films, leading to a detectable increase in the risk of cancer. It’s estimated that in 2022, nearly 279 CT scans were performed per 1,000 U.S. inhabitants. This equates to over 93,000,000 scans and the number is increasing exponentially!
Such routine diagnostic radiation exposure may cause approximately 30,000 new cancer cases each year. Obviously, this form of radiation exposure has concerning implications for both radiologic professionals and their patients.
1. Effective CT Scan Radiation Protection for Healthcare Professionals
Barrier Technologies® fabricates the most effective CT scan radiation protection garments and barriers to protect radiologic professionals, including
- A wide range of lead, lead-lite, and lead-free x-ray aprons, vests, and skirts.
- Three types of thyroid collars.
- Secure Touch® radiation protective gloves.
- Leaded eyewear from leading brands.
- Protective blankets, table drapes, porta-shields, and Secure Shield® pads.
- Mobile barriers with Barrier Safe™ lead glass.
- Terminator XR™ mobile barriers.
2. Effective CT Scan Radiation Protection for Patients
Barrier Technologies offers disposable, one-time-use CT radiation shields for the ultimate protection of your patients. They are hygienic, lead-free, environmentally friendly, and mold to a patient’s body for comfort and ease of use during CT scans:
- CT Eye Shield: Provides 70% protection to delicate eyes.
- CT Thyroid Shield: Provides 65% protection to this sensitive gland.
- CT Breast Shield: Provides 67% protection and helps prevent breast cancer.
- CT Pediatric Shield: Provides 67% protection to this most vulnerable cohort. Available in 3 sizes.
Why Choose Barrier Technologies for Your Radiation Protection Products?
At Barrier Technologies, your safety is our concern. As a radiologic professional, it’s easy to overlook your own health while putting your patients first. If you work with CT scanners every day, you’re at risk of exceeding dose thresholds. Circumstances may arise that require you to be in the vicinity of x-ray equipment while the beam is active—thus experiencing repeated exposure.
You must always wear the best quality radiation personal protective garments and employ reliable physical barriers to shield you from CT scans. Barrier Technologies is an industry leader in innovating products and materials to shield you against the harmful effects of scatter radiation.
We take great pride in our partnerships and close cooperation with healthcare facilities and professionals. Our research and development team is ready to respond to any problems and challenges you encounter. We’ll listen to your problems and deploy our experts to seek solutions.
Barrier Technologies: Your One-Stop-Shop for CT Scan Equipment
CT scan equipment costs a great deal of money but enables rapid assessment of disease and injury. However, all equipment that uses radiation has inherent hazards. You shouldn’t skimp on protection from potentially dangerous x-rays.
Barrier Technologies specializes in mitigating the dangers of scatter radiation. When you choose our products, you know that we’ll be taking care of you and your patients while you perform life-saving diagnostics!
We strive to provide you with a safe working environment by providing the highest quality, most durable CT scan radiation protection equipment. Contact us today for expert advice and to place your order.