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Radiologist´s Role in Front of COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 infection represents new challenges in the health system. Radiologist Graduates and Technicians play a fundamental role in the management of infected patients and those who do not yet have an accurate diagnosis.

Radiological Technicians and Bioimaging Production Graduates are essential personnel of the health team. In these times of global pandemic, the performance of these professionals is essential, since they must perform, among other studies, chest radiographs and computed tomography of the Lung to aid in the accurate diagnosis of COVID_19.

That is why they are in direct contact with potential COVID-19 infected patients. Thus, they must take care of themselves and act under the criteria of the strictest security measures, such as the use of elements for individual protection (gloves, chinstraps, disposable shoe covers, gowns, protection eye, etc.), taking care of contamination of the examination rooms and equipment, to protect other healthy patients.

In cases they must perform X-rays with portable equipment in intensive care units, to avoid the transfer of infected patients the recommendation is as follows:

● the study should be done by two technicians: one performs the test and the other one acts as a support and manipulates what is not contaminated.

● Only one of the technicians must wear the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to enter into the isolation room.

● The chassis will be covered with a plastic bag.

● At the end of the study, the technician who made the plate will pass the chassis to the second technician, without touching it (the technician who made the study only touches the plastic bag; the second technician carefully removes the chassis, without touching the bag).

● The chassis will be cleaned and disinfected according to the general instructions before passing it through the CR.

● At the end of the procedure, the equipment will be cleaned and disinfected according to the general instructions.

● When cleaning, personnel will be protected depending on the type of patient that has used the machine. In confirmed COVID-19 patients, the PPE will be used. In any case, gloves will always be worn.

● In case of having to do more than one portable study in the same room, the technician who wears the PPE can do them with the same protective equipment, changing the gloves between one study and another (and with hand washing when changing gloves).
Handwashing is essential as it breaks the virus transmission: before starting daily work, before and after contacting the patient, and after the room disinfection. Before putting on the personal protective equipment and after removing it. These measures may change from one center to another, depending on the equipment or procedures of that institution.

Placing and removing personal protective equipment

Putting on personal protective equipment:
1-Perform clinical hand washing.
2 -Hand wash with hydroalcoholic solution before performing each step.
3- Putting on boots.
5- Placement of gown completely covering the front part.
6- Putting on gloves.
7- Laying of chinstraps carefully covering nose and mouth, the strips should be adjusted so that there is no gap between the face and the chinstrap.
8- Placement of cap.
9- Placement of glasses.
10- Putting on gloves.

Removal of protective equipment:
1-One glove is removed.
2-Unwrap the robe without touching the front.
3- The cap is removed.
4- The lenses are removed (they must be disinfected at the end of the procedure).
5- The Chinstrap is removed.
6- Boots are removed.
7- The remaining glove is removed.
8- Finally, the (clinical) hand wash with soap and water will be carried out.

Authors:

Mr. Gino Ricciardi (Coordinator of the Radiology Technician and Surgical Instrumentation Technician - UM Río Cuarto).
Mr. Federico Milanesio (Professor of the Radiology Technician degree at the UM Río Cuarto).


 

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