When lead PPE (such as leaded aprons, thyroid collars, skirts, vests and gloves) is not handled and stored properly, it can develop tears in the fabric; as a result, the person wearing that PPE will be exposed to ionizing radiation. While damage like this may not be visible to the human eye, it can be detected during a fluoroscopic x-ray inspection. To prevent this, never fold lead aprons. When storing lead PPE, always hang it up or lay it flat.
The Tennessee Department of Health and Environment, Division of Radiological Health (TDEC, DRH) requires inspection of lead shielding used as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). VUMC requires annual visual and fluoroscopic inspection. Lead shielding PPE inspections are also a high priority with the Joint Commission, and in areas where lead aprons are used, Environment of Care (EOC) survey teams check to verify that leaded aprons and other radiation shielding PPE have been inspected within the last year.
2018 Inspections: Each year, the VUMC Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences provides courtesy annual lead shielding inspections. for a minimal cost per item. Inspections includes free inspection upon new purchase arrival, inventory tracking with annual reminders, visual & fluoroscopic annual inspection, and maintenance of an inspection history record for each item. Refer to this VUMC Reporter article for more information. To schedule an appointment, contact Ryan Ross at 615-936-0749 or firstname.lastname@example.org.