the pregnancy or after delivery. As mentioned before, these decisions rest entirely with
the patient's physician because he is more familiar with her particular case than anyone
else. The problem arises when the physician does not know that his patient is
pregnant. In this case, you should inform the patient's physician or the radiologist so a
decision can be made regarding her x-rays. How do you know the patient's pregnancy
status? Ask her! There are some general rules to observe when asking a patient if she
is pregnant. Keep in mind that you should use common sense and good judgment to
avoid embarrassing questions.
(1) Do not ask her in the presence of others. Choose a private place such
as the exposure room.
Choose words that are in good taste.
(3) Explain why you want to know but do not alarm her with the information
that radiation will absolutely result in damage to the fetus.
(4) Ask only those that are procreative. For example, do not ask a 65-year-
old patient if she is pregnant.
4-36. PROTECTION FOR OTHERS
Anvone who is not needed to assist should not be allowed in the exposure room
during the examination. At times, it will be necessary for others to remain in the room.
Persons who may be needed for assistance and some steps to take to protect them
from radiation are discussed below.
a. Parents will sometimes be required to remain in the room with a child. They
should not remain in the exposure room during the examination unless they are needed.
They may be needed to hold the film, to hold the child, or merely to be present to assist
the x-ray specialist in getting the child's cooperation. If possible, they should remain in
the control booth during exposure. If needed to hold the film or child, be sure to have
them wear protective aprons and gloves. (Pregnant women should not be allowed to
hold a film or child during exposure).
b. At times, it will be necessary to use other hospital personnel to assist you by
holding film, patients, and so forth. Use only personnel not occupationally exposed to
ionizing radiation, and do not use the same person for extended periods of time. Again,
be sure they are properly protected with lead aprons and gloves.