Section I. X-RAY FILM PROCESSING UNDER ADVERSE FIELD
CONDITIONS AND OTHER SPECIAL METHODS
a. Efficient processing of x-ray film under field conditions is often difficult. This is
particularly true when, in amphibious or airborne operations, an x-ray laboratory is
established in strange terrain proximate to combat operations. Under these conditions,
casualties are awaiting medical attention and the hospital's surgical and radiographic
functions should be established as soon as possible.
b. There may be no electric power to operate processing tank refrigeration units.
Conventional x-ray processing requires water; frequently, however, water will have to be
hand carried in large quantities for long distances. An inadequate water supply may
necessitate the use of special processing techniques or a method of instantaneous dry
processing, which requires special equipment. The following paragraph describes a
method in which a completely processed, but wet, radiograph can be produced within
15 to 20 minutes following its initial immersion in the developing solution. If not required
for inspection immediately, it may be hung in a drying rack to be air-dried.
FIELD PROCESSING PROCEDURE
Since electric power is not needed and a small quantity of fresh water can be
included with the equipment, processing of radiography can begin as soon as the
equipment is landed and assembled. The amount of water needed for the first 24 hours
can be contained in a 50-gallon drum. This will be enough to mix solutions and
accomplish the film washing process. After solutions are made, the water for washing
purposes will average 15 gallons per 480 14 by 17-inch films or the equivalent.
Treatment of the x-ray film during the processing procedure assures protection of the
emulsion by good hardening characteristics and freedom from residual salts after the
film is dry. The elimination of conventional processing apparatus is offset by using a
processing system that chemically controls the processing procedure within a
temperature range of the prevailing solution temperatures--one is used for the range 60
to 75F and the other for 75 to 90F. The method of developer replenishment requires
the maintenance of the correct solution level by frequent additions of replenisher. The
volume of replenisher needed to process 600 14 by 17-inch films, or their equivalent, is
about equal to four times the original volume of the developer. This system makes
possible the use of a constant development time for a given temperature.
Seven stainless steel (Alloy number 316) tanks are needed for this method of
processing. Each tank should be of approximately five gallons capacity. A frame upon
which tanks may be grouped for convenient use by the x-ray specialist may be
improvised (figure 4-1)