Regulations Relating To Patients Who Are Or May Be Pregnant & Use of Lead Aprons?
Regulations 20.1-20.4 of S.I. 478 of 2002 relate to exposures of patients who are or may be pregnant. European Commission Guidance which has been adopted by the Medical Council indicates that special precautions are not indicated for low dose procedures or where the uterus is not in the primary beam (e.g. in Dental radiography). Guidelines from the RPII (2010) also indicate that radiographs of the skull may be done at any time, provided that best practices are adhered to.
While patient doses from DEXA procedures are very low, it is normally considered prudent to adopt a policy of not conducting the examination on a patient who may be pregnant.
In 2011, the RPII and the HSE produced a joint position paper on the Use of Lead Aprons in Dentistry. This concludes that there is no requirement to use lead aprons for pregnant patients. The use of thyroid collars may be indicated in certain circumstances and lead aprons may be required for persons who assist patients during exposures.