C-Arm Safety Considerations

Patients and staff may have concerns about potential exposure to radiation when using a C-Arm, but there are ways to lower the risk to  both patient and staff.
By observing the following, the risk to both patients and staff can be lowered:



  • Understand and follow Federal regulations requiring a C-Arm maximum output to have a limit.,
  • Keep strict rules regarding the persons allowed in the fluoroscopy room: No one should be present except trained staff and patient.
  • Make sure patients are at least 12-15 inches away from the x-ray tube – the closer they are to the tube, the higher the radiation dose will be. However, your patient should be as close as possible to the image intensifier.
  • Be honest and up front with your patients about the risks of radiation, but make it easy to digest by using simple language. Remember that your patients most likely won’t understand the terminology commonly used in the medical field.
  • Ways to shorten fluoro times include: pulsed fluoro, manual mode, single pulse, timer warning, and image hold settings. You are also able to reduce radiation by using intermittent fluoroscopy and the image hold capacity simultaneously.
  • You and your staff should keep at least one foot (or more) away from the patient during the procedure to lower radiation exposure.
  • Stay mindful of radiation influx, and limit/adjust exposure time as needed.
  • Make sure to thoroughly scan and go over the patients original radiographs before the fluoroscopic procedure begins, as this can greatly reduce the repeat rate for the procedure time.
  • Avoid radiation leakage by having personnel stand on the image intensifier side of the c-arm while in use.
  • Staff shielding should be a priority. Wear leaded eyewear with side shields, leaded gloves, and a wrap-around apron. The side shields on your eyewear are especially important, because without them you could accidentally glance sideways from the c-arm x-ray tube to look at the monitor image and be exposed to radiation. You don’t want that!
  • Lead lining is also crucial in order to reduce radiation risk. Lead requirements do vary state to state, find out your specific area’s rules and regulations before moving forward with any lead shielding.
  • Inspect your c-arm and other medical equipment regularly to avoid any alignment issues or technical mishaps. You should have regular inspection’s on your service contract.

Contact us at Pacific Healthcare Imaging, for questions you may have.   We sell and support pre-owned, used and refurbished c-arms and other diagnostic imaging systems for medical facilities.

Through years of experience, we can accurately access constantly changing customer requirements, offering you the most comprehensive and affordable used and refurbished C-Arm systems and diagnostic equipment and services available.