USA follows UK on patient contact shielding

Shielding no longer required in routine practice

Published: 26 January 2021 USA follows UK on patient contact shielding

The USA’s radiological protection authority has followed the UK in ruling that patient contact shielding is no longer required in routine practice.

In March 2020, the SCoR produced a joint report with the British Institute of Radiology, Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, Public Health England, Royal College of Radiologists and the Society for Radiological Protection, offering evidence-based guidance on why shielding was unnecessary in most X-rays, CT scans and interventional radiology.

The UK report had pointed to an increasing number of studies that raised concerns regarding the efficacy and effectiveness of such contact shielding, which had in turn led to inconsistency in application and, in some cases, friction between patients demanding shielding and professionals judging it is unnecessary or even potentially harmful.

Now the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) in the US has published a statement concluding: ‘NCRP now recommends that gonadal shielding not be used routinely during abdominal and pelvic radiography, and that federal, state, and local regulations and guidance should be revised to remove any actual or implied requirement for routine gonadal shielding.’