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Patient Dose & DRLs


RPC can help with the legal requirements for assessing patient dose and, in particular, establishing Local Diagnostic Reference Levels for your department.

The IRMER regulations are primarily in place to protect patients from the harmful effects of ionising radiation.  The key point in the regulations is the requirement to ensure that doses are kept as low as reasonably practicable (the so called ALARP principle).  Consequently IRMER requires the employer to set up systems to ensure that patient dose is controlled. This includes the provision of operating procedures and protocols for equipment use and purchasing and maintaining equipment such that patient dose is kept to a minimum. Therefore there needs to be a way of assessing the effectiveness of the procedures and methods used to optimise  patient dose.  And so IRMER also introduces the requirement that employers establish diagnostic reference levels (DRLs) for diagnostic radiation examinations.  DRLs, once set are not to be exceeded for standard procedures when good and normal practice, regarding diagnostic and technical performance, is applied.

RPC can help by:

  • Giving advice on establishing local DRLs

  • Providing procedures for establishing and reviewing LDRLs

  • Providing a software solution for data entry and comparison with National DRLs (NDRLs)

  • Guidance on establishing and using DRLs for X-ray work can be found in IPEM 88

  • Guidance on DRLs for X-ray work (including dental) can be found in HPA-CRCE-034

  • Guidance on establishing and using DRLs for Cone Beam CT (CBCT) can be found in RP-172

  • Guidance on DRLs for Nuclear Medicine is available on the  ARSAC website.


For further information call RPC on 020 8725 1050/1


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