How effective are lead aprons when using a used c-arm?
Lead aprons are the most effective personal radiation protection means and should be worn by everyone when using a c-arm(except the patient). Lead aprons may reduce the dose received by over 90% (85%-99%) depending on the energy of the X rays (kV setting) and the lead equivalent thickness of the apron. The thickness of a patient’s body part in the beam determines the kV that the c-arm uses. The used c-arm will select a higher kV than for a thinner one and thus staff will be exposed to more scattered radiation. The same lead apron will provide less protection when the beam is of higher energy (or higher kV). A lead apron with 0.35 mm lead thickness equivalence should be sufficient for most procedures with a used c-arm. For high workload, a wrap-around lead apron with 0.25 mm lead equivalence that overlaps on the front and provides 0.25+0.25=0.5 mm lead equivalence on the front and 0.25 mm on the back would be ideal. For a low work load a 0.25 mm lead equivalence apron should do well.
Should I use lead impregnated gloves in when using a c-arm?
No. Leaded gloves may reduce the dose to the hands by 15%-30% as long as the hands remain outside the primary X ray beam from the used c-arm. In contrast, if gloves are worn and the hand is in primary beam, the automatic exposure control system will trigger an increase in exposure (kV) which increases the dose to the hands, as well as patient and staff dose. Furthermore, a false sense of security might increase the time the hands remain inside the primary beam, nullifying the potential of the gloves to protect against radiation.
If you have any questions about used c-arms please call 877-283-3154