Estimation of Radiation Dose in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

An experimental study was carried out to determine the radiation doses received by the brain, thyroid glands and the genital organs (i.e. ovaries testicles) of the babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) during chest radiography. A Perspex block phantom of similar size to the neonate was exposed to radiation using the actual average exposure parameters that applied normally in the NICU. The doses were measured using thermo-luminance lithium fluoride dosimeter chips (TLD). The entrance and exit doses were then measured for the brain, thyroid and gonads organs. The measurement was obtained with and without shielding. The results of our study showed that infants did not receive what might be considered excessive radiation from diagnostic modalities. Entrance Skin Dose (ESD) was found to be below the European Committee (EC) reference dose of 80 mGy for mobile chest radiographs. Applying the radiation protection shield such as 0.5 mm lead rubber sheet is of great value in reducing the radiation doses to the brain cells and the gonadal organs.


Emadeldin B, Abukonna A

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