How to sanitize portable X-ray equipment

Site: ISRRT e-Learning
Course: International Covid-19 support for Radiographers and Radiological Technologists
Book: How to sanitize portable X-ray equipment
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Friday, 23 April 2021, 4:27 AM

1. How to sanitize portable X-ray equipment

When chest X-rays are performed on bed-ridden patients, some important considerations to reduce mobile X-ray machine contamination are:

  • Two radiographers should perform chest X-rays
  • The same mobile machine should be used on all COVID-19 patients
  • Use a transparent waterproof/protective cover to protect the X-ray tube and the cassette/plate.


Sanitization should include the following procedures:

  • The radiographer moves the X-ray machine to the filter area and proceeds to sanitise it starting from the X-ray tube and going down to the entire stand
  • They subsequently sanitise the generator body paying particular attention to the selection keys
  • Eventually, they sanitise the wheels and cable.

Additional recommendations include:

  • Using a different clean cloth for each part of the equipment
  • Using (preferably) ethanol 75%, or the disinfectant suggested by the manufacturer to sanitize surfaces1
  • Diluted bleach solution (6mg Chlorine releasing disinfectant tablet to 1000ml of water) may be used to wipe down the machine
  • Do not use concentrated corrosive or toxic substances (check the label on the container)
  • If spray dispensers are used, they should not be pointed towards fissures or joints (especially nearby electrical components). If the disinfectant enters any fissures, it may damage internal components

  • To avoid any drop enters underneath the surface of the equipment, wet cloths should not be soaked.

Sanitization process timing:

  • The length of the sanitizing process is variable depending on the product used for cleaning
  • Alcohol-based products are preferred because they evaporate in a short time
  • The whole surface should be evenly treated.

Special attention should be used when handling portable X-ray tubes of materials are classified as “hard non-porous”. Application times may differ according to the different products used for sanitization.

Low or intermediate level disinfectants, such as iodophor germicidal detergent solution, ethyl alcohol (ethanol 75%) or isopropyl alcohol, can be used to disinfect equipment surface at the end of each examination performed on suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient. User manuals of equipment manufacturers state the disinfectant products and procedures that can be used to avoid possible functional damage of equipment.2

2. References

  1. List N: Products with emerging viral pathogens and human coronavirus claims for use against SARS-CoV-2 (attached)
  2. Zanardo M, Martini C, Monti CB, et al. Management of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, in the radiology department. Radiography 2020 [Accepted and in press] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2020.04.010