Latest news from our
VISIONS Magazine

A Large Number of Radiographers in Ireland Experiencing Work Related Low Back Pain

June 30th, 2023

With patient and equipment handling, as well as continual movement involved in many roles in radiology, low back pain is an issue that many radiographers experience. Increasing workloads can create an even greater risk of problems. Canon Medical designs all its imaging equipment with the safety, comfort, and convenience of patient and specialist in mind. VISIONS explores how our Aquilion CT systems are equipped with features that can fully protect users from strain and injury.

A large number of people worldwide are affected by some form of musculoskeletal condition during their lifetime, and one of the most common is low back pain (LBP). It can contribute to disability through limitations in mobility and significantly reduce participation in work and leisure activities. With the daily physical burdens of work, radiographers are at risk of developing the condition.

Studies in several countries have investigated the prevalence of LBP among radiographers, but with no studies carried out in Ireland, a group of specialists led by a diagnostic radiographer from the University College Cork set out to determine the prevalence among radiographers in the country. They explored the issue through an online survey distributed through social media and found that 50% of working radiographers in Ireland experienced LBP, 9% were hospitalized, 37% required treatment for it, 25% of those affected had to reduce their work activity, and 43% reduced leisure activities. In addition, 16% of the respondents have changed or are considering changing careers from radiography due to LBP1. These results statistically mirror the level of problems found in other studies globally.

User safety
Power assisted positioning expedites the set-up of patients and reduces the heavy lifting required by the care team. With an increasing number of cases of obesity and trauma, lifting and maneuvering patients has become an enhanced area of risk for radiology staff, said Cees Verlooij, Senior European Clinical Specialist CT.

Canon Medical integrated design elements in its Aquilion CT systems to enhance the safety and ease of use of the scanners for users. Our Aquilion CT systems incorporate a host of features that enable radiographers to reduce the physical burden of scanning on themselves, as well as for their patients, in addition to streamlining the entire imaging workflow,” Verlooij continued.

“Canon Medical strives to provide solutions to protect radiographers from strain and injury.”

Cees Verlooij, Senior European Clinical Specialist CT, Canon Medical Systems Europe
Patient positioning
The first step is safe and accurate patient set-up. The Aquilion CT features design innovations improving the scan experience for patients while providing excellent operability and work safety for the radiographer. The couch top can be lowered to a minimum height of 33 cm for facilitating patient loading and transfer from a wheelchair. The spacious (up to) 80cm wide bore and 47 cm wide patient couch allow comfortable scanning of large patients.

The system also features lateral table movement which provides increased safety for radiographers and patients. It is achieved by Tech Assist Lateral Slide, a feature that in addition to the standard table movements, mechanically can move the patient left or right in the gantry to the correct position at the touch of a button. “The patient can be eased into position in the large bore quickly and comfortably, without asking assistance from other staff members, by utilizing the system’s ergonomic lateral slide, which can provide up to 17cm lateral movement,” said Verlooij. “Tech Assist Lateral Slide ensures safety and comfort by providing motorized positioning of the patient, reducing the risk of injury to the patient and the radiographer.”
In addition to the gantry set-up, accurate positioning is assured through Canon Medical's SUREPosition which allows patient centering and positioning, with adjustable 'Up-Down' and 'Left-Right' movement at the scan console.

SUREPosition ensures iso-center scanning for the best IQ and lowest dose, and is always performed without re-positioning and re-scanning of the patient,” remarked Verlooij.

“The system generates a new (virtual) scanogram which means you never have to repeat a scanogram. This not only minimizes the physical burden of moving the patient on the radiographer, because it is required once only, but also helps reduce rescans in time-critical situations.”
The Aquilion Serve's "Tech Assist Lateral slide" expedites the set-up of patients and reduces heavy lifting required by the attending care team by the possibility of 17 cm lateral table movement by the touch of a button.
Enhanced user experience
Partnership with users fuels Canon Medical’s continual innovation. By working together in close collaboration with users to gather their experiences and their feedback as to what may help them and their patients even further, issues such as low back pain and shoulder injuries among radiographers became apparent as one area where further improvements could be beneficial.

“Canon Medical continually develops new technologies to improve its product performance, in this case, towards enhancing the daily practices of the user, improve their workflow experience, safeguard their long-term health and functionality, and tackle an issue that can potentially reduce the availability of radiographers in the already stretched workplace,” said Verlooij.

You can also download this article as PDF or the full edition of the respective VISIONS

Download this article as PDF Download the full VISIONS #41 Magazine

Other blogs that may interest you

General articles Thoraco-Abdominal articles

1 Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences

Contact Us