ALARA - "As Low As Reasonably Achievable"
ALARA is a general principle relative to keeping radiation dose exposure to patients as low as reasonable for each procedure, given clinical need and patient factors.
Why is ALARA important?
- In March, 2009, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement released a critical report that indicated that radiation dose to the United States population had risen dramatically since the early 1980’s
- IR procedures are the third largest contributor to medical radiation to the US public
- Children are more sensitive to radiation effects and have a longer life span during which manifest possible changes as a result of radiation exposure
- Children who undergo interventional procedures may have a chronic illness and receive a higher lifetime cumulative dose secondary to repeat procedures and exposure
- Practices vary from institution to institution, and even within an institution
- For the Patient: Radiation dose is optimized when imaging is performed with the least amount of radiation required to provide adequate image quality and image guidance
- For the Staff: Scattered radiation in the room is directly proportional to the patient dose; if patient dose is reduced, so too is the dose to the operator and team