Radiation Exposure in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Newborns and Staff

Cakir S. C. , Dorum B. A. , KÖKSAL F. N. , ÖZKAN H. , YAZICI Z. , PARLAK M. , ...More

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PERINATOLOGY, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1055/s-0041-1733779
  • Keywords: bedside X-ray, neonatal intensive care unit, newborn, radiation exposure, staff safety, BIRTH-WEIGHT INFANTS, X-RAY EXAMINATIONS, PRETERM INFANTS, SAFETY


Objective Portable X-rays remain one of the most frequently used diagnostic procedures in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). Premature infants are more sensitive to radiation-induced harmful effects. Dangers from diagnostic radiation can occur with stochastic effects. We aimed to determine the radiation exposure in premature infants and staff and determine the scattering during X-ray examinations in the NICU. Study Design In this prospective study, dosimeters were placed on premature infants who were <= 1,250 g at birth and <= 30 weeks of gestational age who stayed in the NICU for at least 4 weeks. The doses were measured at each X-ray examination during their stay. The measurements of the nurses and the doctors in the NICU were also performed with dosimeters over the 1-month period. Other dosimeters were placed in certain areas outside the incubator and the results were obtained after 1 month. Results The mean radiation exposure of the 10 premature infants, monitored with dosimeters, was 3.65 +/- 2.44 mGy. The mean skin dose of the six staff was 0.087 +/- 0.0998 mSV. The mean scattered dose was 67.9 +/- 26.5 mu Gy. Conclusion Relatively high exposures were observed in 90% of the patients and two staff. The radiation exposure levels of premature infants and staff may need to be monitored continuously.