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Ed Ostrowski

ASRT Statement on Fetal and Gonadal Shielding

By ASRT Legislative Actions, In the Media, Member News

Since the spring of 2019, the ASRT Board of Directors has engaged in multiple, in-depth discussions on the issue of discontinuing the use of fetal and gonadal shielding during medical diagnostic x-ray procedures.

Recommendations from the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurementsannounced on Jan. 12, 2021, support an end to shielding specifically during abdominal and pelvic radiography. After review of the latest empirical research and in consideration of the recent information from the NCRP, the 2019 AAPM Position Statement (PP 32-A) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s action to rescind its longstanding gonadal shielding recommendation (21 CFR part 1000.50), the Board has concluded that shielding the fetus and/or gonads during abdominal and pelvic radiography may result in a risk of repeat exposure. This risk outweighs any potential benefit from the limited reduction in patient dose from a shield placed within or near the exposed field.

Consistent with our commitment to a culture of radiation safety, it is the ASRT Board’s position that it is appropriate to discontinue shielding for abdominal and pelvic imaging when the exam is performed by a registered radiologic technologist.

The ASRT Board is committed to working with all of our partner organizations to design and disseminate educational materials to help inform the public about the extremely low dose from certain radiologic procedures and ASRT’s ongoing focus on patient safety through comprehensive radiation protection practices.

 

ASRT Update on Gonadal and Fetal Shielding

On Jan. 12, 2021, the ASRT Board of Directors released a statement supporting the discontinuation of the use of gonadal and fetal shielding specifically during abdominal and pelvic radiography.

Significant advances in technology have resulted in reduced patient radiation dose during radiographic procedures, opening the door to this change in clinical practice. However, the radiation protection methods implemented by registered and certified radiologic technologists remain an essential component of high-quality and safe medical imaging procedures. While shielding placed outside of the exposed field may offer only limited additional reductions to patient exposure, this low-risk practice is an important component of our comprehensive efforts to reduce excess radiation dose during our procedures.

The ASRT Board supports the continued use of lead shielding during radiographic procedures where shield placement is appropriate and aligned with minimizing patient radiation exposure. For example, the placement of a lap shield during a radiographic extremity procedure carries little-to-no risk of exam interference or error, but may significantly increase patient comfort and confidence, thus helping to reaffirm our profession’s commitment to maximizing safety. The elimination of all patient shielding from standard practice could exacerbate the radiophobia that exists among the public and our patients due to widespread media coverage of the published risks associated with medical radiation exposure.

Before considering the elimination of all patient shielding as a standard practice during radiographic procedures, it is essential that we educate our patients and health care colleagues on the recent advances in technology that have dramatically reduced patient radiation dose, as well as the indispensable role that radiologic technologists serve in the provision of safe and high-quality medical imaging procedures.

The ASRT will explore partnering with key stakeholders to collaboratively develop and disseminate educational materials to inform the public about the safety of our procedures.

ASRT Online Advocacy Academy

By ASRT Legislative Actions, Member News

The ASRT Online Advocacy Academy gives ASRT members the opportunity to learn how to affect positive change in the standards and regulations guiding the profession, as well as the skills they will need to protect the profession against future perils.

This 10-week course is designed to help participants:

  • Promote, enhance and defend the profession’s standards by developing skills to navigate the legislative and regulatory process.
  • Work toward a leadership position on their affiliate’s board and strengthen their affiliate society’s advocacy and media relations skills.
  • Develop personal advocacy and organizational skills.

ASRT Fellows Scholarship

By In the Media, Member News

ISSRT Members,

The ASRT Foundation is offering the ASRT Fellows Scholarship to support an ASRT member pursuing the prestigious status of ASRT Fellow.  This is a $1000 scholarship – please see requirements and details at foundation@asrt.org or call 800-444-2778 at extension 1912. The ASRT Fellows have aided in funding this scholarship, and are proud to be able to assist members in their pursuit of becoming a Fellow.

Cathie Kukec

ASRT Affilate Societies’ Critical Role in Enacting MARCA

By Member News
Dear Affiliate Leaders:
Recently the Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act, H.R. 3657 and S. 2641, was introduced in Congress. To assist with gaining support and cosponsors for the bills, ASRT asks that affiliate societies create letters of support that the MARCA lobbying team can distribute on Capitol Hill while visiting with lawmakers from your state.
To create the letters, please customize the highlighted areas in this support letter template with your affiliate society’s information. There is one template to personalize for federal representatives and one to personalize for federal senators in your state. We ask that you print the completed letter on your society’s letterhead and return it to ASRT by emailing governmentrelations@asrt.org by September 27.  
In addition to writing letters of support, you can promote more activism by posting information on your affiliate website or social media platforms by asking your webmaster to use the codes provided in this document so the MARCA calls to action can be viewed easily. Instructions are provided in the document. 
Please promote MARCA during your meetings.  If you are conducting an in-person annual meeting, set up computers at convenient locations so your attendees can quickly send an email to their federal lawmakers. Templates have already been created for ease of use. Simply open your computer to the MARCA Advocacy Action Center page and ask attendees to enter their personal information on the engagement pages.
If you are meeting virtually, please take a few minutes to promote MARCA by showing attendees how to find information about MARCA and take action to save the radiologist assistant profession.
As an affiliate leader, you are the cornerstone of success for getting MARCA enacted. You can play a critical role in protecting this advanced pathway for all radiologic technologists. 
These requests will only take a few minutes yet will have a lasting effect. Please don’t delay.
If you have any questions, please let us know.
Thank you for your leadership, your partnership and everything you do to promote and enhance our profession!
Sincerely,
ASRT Government Relations Department
Please note the documents will open in a new browser showing the document near the bottom of that page that you will need to download. If you have any problems opening the documents please contact us at governmentrelations@asrt.org