Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Amongst the man made ionising radiations, x- ray diagnostic procedures contribute the highest per capita radiation dose to population over and above the natural background radiation. Although the x- ray diagnostic procedures have revolutionised the medical diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, it is many a times being over-used as a routine diagnostic procedure like blood or urine test. The patient receives radiation
dose in excess due to bad practice and bad equipment, and hence every x-ray machine should be subjected to periodic quality assurance (QA) test. Extensive radiation protection surveys and QA tests of 190 x-ray installations in southern Rajasthan was carried out. It was observed that the kVp calibration was within limit in only 43.6 % of the surveyed units. Similarly the mA linearity was within the prescribed limit in 22.9 % of the units. Out of 190 x - ray machines, 97 (51 % ) were more than 10 years old and were never subjected to QA tests after installation. The detailed results of beam alignment test, congruency of optical and radiation field, kVp linearity, timer linearity and availability of radiation protection equipment such as lead barrier and lead apron are discussed.