Radiation dose to premature new-borns in the Belgian neonatal intensive care units

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Abstract

In the neonatal intensive care units (NICU), premature new-borns may be exposed to important doses. Because of their increased radiosensitivity and longer life expectancy, dose optimisation is of importance. The present study aimed at evaluating the dose of the most common radiographs in the Belgian NICU. Entrance surface kerma (ESK) and kerma area product (KAP) were collected in 17 NICU (among 19 in Belgium). Median ESK ranged from 13 to 172 mGy and from 8 to 117 mGy for chest and combined chest–abdomen radiographs, respectively; median KAP ranged from 1.4 to 14.2 mGy cm2 and from 3.8 to 28.1 mGy cm2 for chest and combined chest–abdomen radiographs, respectively. Those differences were due to large variations in the examination settings. Diagnostic reference levels (DRL) were set for chest and combined chest–abdomen radiographs. Though the radiograph dose was usually low, the cumulative dose per stay could be high. The wide, intercentre differences indicate that there is scope for dose reduction. The use of DRL should contribute to achieve this object.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
JournalRadiation protection dosimetry
Volume158
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

Keywords

  • premature babies, reference doses, organ doses, DRL

ID: 226139