The cost-effectiveness of carbon-fibre cassettes in mobile chest radiography
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Employment of carbon fibre materials is an effective method of reducing radiation dose, yet the increased associated costs have led to a reluctance in implementation. This study investigates the level of dose reduction achievable, while maintaining image quality, in mobile chest radiography using carbon-fibre cassettes, compared with plastic cassettes, and balances this against increased expense of the cassettes. Dose measurements using thermoluminescent dosimeters were carried out on intensive therapy unit (ITU) patients undergoing an anteroposterior chest X-ray examination. Resultant image quality was assessed using objective Commission of European Communities (CEC) criteria. A retrospective audit recorded number of ITU patients currently having chest X-rays to determine total dose savings over the life of the cassettes. The results show significant reductions (p < 0.0001) of 32 % for entrance surface and effective dose with carbon-fibre cassettes. No deterioration in total image quality was noted. The added expense of ≤ 2260 per personSievert (calculated from the effective dose reduction) for employing carbon-fibre cassettes is minimal compared with the estimated cost of manSievert exposures reported by other workers.
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