The ins and outs of radiation shielding

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | October 17, 2022
X-Ray
From the October 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


For one project, Veritas had to make the shielding material into half-palettes, so a construction service elevator could lift it to an upper floor.

Trends in radiation therapy shielding
Farrell often finds that clients don’t know what equipment they plan to purchase in the initial phase of a project. What they do know is that they want the best treatment equipment for their patients as technology advances.
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“The facility often wants to ‘future proof’ their design for future innovations in treatment equipment,” said Farrell. “While this is a valiant exercise, the differences in treatment machine types and modalities offered makes the coordination with other trades that much more of a critical point. Without the proper coordination, mistakes can be made, costing aggravation, time and money.”

Another aspect he wished facilities were better prepared for is the placement of the required structural foundations. When Veritas performs its preinstallation inspection at a customer site, there have been times the foundations were not placed properly according to the isocenter location.

Historically, many facilities put these rooms in the basement. That approach saves on shielding costs because in a subterranean environment the earth can be used as a shielding material.

However, the trend is now to have the radiation therapy room on the ground floor. It eliminates the hassle of a patient having to use elevators or stairs to get to their treatment appointment.

“We believe that the primary focus should be the patient,” said Farrell. “With the patient in mind, facilities often desire to keep the radiotherapy department at the ground floor level. This permits the patient to experience natural light, which can be very beneficial to the patient.”

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