Karachi: Technicians working in radiology departments of major public hospitals in Karachi are likely to contract serious diseases as they are performing their duties without safety measures necessary to protect them from dangerous radiological rays.
Radiation Protection Officer (RPO), Civil Hospital Karachi (CKH), Mohammad Tariq, told PPI that radiation means is an energy which travels in the form of particular rays. He said safety measure and some equipment were necessary for employees working at radiology department to protect them from directly contracting diseases from dangerous rays discharged from diagnostic machines.
He said some equipment like lead apron, TLD badges, film badges, thyroid shields, lead barriers or screen, lead gloves and lead eye glasses protect employees from direct radiation of rays and also minimize its severity. He said penetration power of gamma camera rays is more dangerous as compared to X-ray.
RPO Tariq said there were two types of radiation related side-effects including deterministic effects and stochastic effect were likely to develop diseases among employees if proper safety measures were taken and equipments could not be used during duty. He said employees may face different diseases due to radiation rays like vomiting, nausea, skin problems, joint pain and fever. He said stochastic effect was more dangerous for people working in such atmosphere for example person affected from radiation might face sterility, tissues mutation and others diseases.
He explained that person contracted diseases due to radiation rays should be rested for minimum three months on the recommendation RPO. He said lead apron and lead screen were necessary for staff working X-ray department. He said there were no RPO officers in radiation departments of major healthcares of Karachi including Civil Hospital Karachi, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center.
He stressed the need of appointment of RPO officers in radiations departments and organizing awareness lectures for staff in order to protect them from dangerous rays. He said strict administration were needed to implement on safety measures in radiation department of public hospitals.
Head of Radiology Department, JPMC, Prof Tariq Mehmood, said JPMC had registered in Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) and PNRA teams visit every year in hospital for inspection. He said radiology department maintained the record of the technicians working in X-ray, and other departments.
He said all new diagnostic machines were being operated through remote control in JPMC and there was no need self-presence of staff during the diagnostic tests. He said all necessary medical equipments were available for technicians to protect them from direct radiological rays.
In-charge, OPD, X-ray Department, CHK, Tariq Hussain Mangi when contacted said there was no protection equipment available for technicians in public healthcare. He said staff was performing their duties without safety measures and protecting equipments. He said there was no any allowance for employees working in X-ray department without protection equipments.
He informed that over 250 X-rays are done every day during rush hours in department without any protection equipments. He said authorities concerned should provide necessary equipments and ensure implementation of safety plan in x-ray and radiology departments in order to protect employees from harmful affects of dangerous rays.
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