Radiography Department and Mobile Radiography on at risk COVID-19 patients

4. Radiography Department and Mobile Radiography General Advice

  • Radiographers, as the first healthcare professional to see diagnostic images, should be trained to recognise appearances suspicious for Covid-19, especially in asymptomatic patients, and triage for an immediate/urgent clinical report.
  • Where possible, designate a mobile unit for investigation of suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cases and leave this within the patient care area to reduce transmission risk
  • Ensure appropriate personal protective equipment is available for staff and that staff are trained in the safe use of all PPE based on local risk assessment and national/international guidance
  • Use Direct Digital Radiography (DDR) imaging whenever possible, this reduces transmission risk and minimises radiographer workload
  • Designate one or two image receptors specific for COVID-19 patients if Computed Radiography (CR) or film/screen technology is to be used
  • Cover x-ray detector/cassettes with plastic cover or disposable cellophane wrapper and make sure to clean X-ray cassette in between each patient
  • Clean and disinfect all imaging equipment, including mobile X-ray machine, X-ray couch and chest stand between each patient. Recognise that appropriate air exchange is also required and to allow sufficient time between patients to reduce cross-contamination
  • When performing imaging, both within the department and undertaking mobile radiography, wherever possible, one radiographer positions the X-ray tube and makes the exposure, the second positions the patient and the covered detector and applies the anatomical marker.
  • Inform superiors/other health care professionals/colleagues of patients that are at risk
  • Remove students from high risk scenarios
  • Activate retired/vacationing radiographers/technologists when possible, ensuring appropriate risk assessment, access to supervision and refresher training is available
  • Do not allow staff who are potentially ill to work
  • Triage patients (only urgent cases)
  • Adjust protocols to limit exposure and speed up though put while maintaining quality
  • Inform patients of need for hand hygiene and the use of tissues when sneezing
  • Split staffing into multiple shifts to limit exposure of the entire team, ensuring appropriate skill ix and experience wherever possible