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National radiation policy for pregnant patients delayed

The policy, which was targeted for the end of 2017, was approved by the National Radiation Safety Committee in January of this year and will be endorsed by the HSE, pending the publication of the new statutory instrument for radiation protection by the Department of Health.

A spokesperson for the HSE told MI that the delay in endorsement is to ensure that the policy aligns with the new legislation.

“Once the legislation is enacted and the policy is endorsed, the HSE and relevant professional bodies will disseminate the policy to all public and private radiology and radiotherapy locations,” according to the spokesperson.

The national policy for the protection of the unborn child arising from ionising radiation received during medical diagnostic or therapeutic procedures has been developed by a national working  group of relevant professionals, with the support of the HSE Medical Exposure Radiation Unit.

MI previously reported how 12 patients were incorrectly administered CT scans and three were incorrectly given general x-rays, according to radiology incident data reported in the National Radiation Safety Committee (NRSC) Annual Report 2016.

The 29 notifiable incidents from radiology included two cases of “inadvertent dose to foetus” through CT scans.

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