Karachi: Employees and supporting staff of the city’s major public sector hospitals’ radiology departments are reportedly exposed to dangerous rays in the absence of Radiation Protection Officers (RPOs) and safety equipment, it was reliably learnt.
According to sources, radiology departments of Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH), National Institute of Child Health (NICH), Lyari General Hospital (LGH), Sindh Government Qatar Hospital, Orangi Town and some others are functioning without Radiation Protection Officers (RPOs) and their tasks were reportedly being performed by technicians and that too in the absence of safety gadgets.
However, CHK’s radiology department’s senior RMO, Dr Aijaz A. Zubedi, claimed that though all protection equipments are available for technicians, some of them reportedly did not wear radiation protection equipment during duty hours.
He said that administration will guide technicians and their support staff to follow the safety plan in letter and spirit.
Meanwhile, Cardiac Care Society’s Radiation Protection Officer Muhammad Tariq said that since radiation means an energy that travels in the form of particular rays, safety measures and some equipment were a must for employees working in radiology departments so that they could protect themselves from dangerous rays emitted by diagnostic machines.
“Some equipment like lead apron, film badges, thyroid shields, lead barriers or screen, lead gloves and lead eye glasses protect employees from direct rays,” he said, adding that penetration power of gamma camera rays are more dangerous than X-rays.
Elaborating, he said that there are two types of radiation-related side-effects and these include deterministic effects and stochastic effects.
Cautioning the technicians that they could contract diseases like cancer, arthritis, cell deaths, sterility, tissues mutation and other diseases if they did not take proper safety measures while performing their duties, he said that in case a person was exposed to radiations, he or she should be allowed to have rest for at least three months on the recommendation RPO.
He also opined that lead apron and lead screen were necessary for the staff working in X-ray departments.
Underscoring the need for appointing RPOs in radiology departments, he said that proper arrangements should be made for creating awareness about hazards of radiations among staff of radiology departments.