Resourceful radiology department repurposes orientation markers during pandemic

Staff in the radiology department at Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, have repurposed disposable orientation markers from Beekley in order to identify COVID-19 patients and enhance cross-contamination protocols. Supplied by Oncology Imaging Systems, the single use, self-adhesive right and left markers offer a hygienic way to communicate anatomical orientation on x-rays.

Superintendent radiographer Alex Wallace said: “Originally we purchased the markers as an attempt to limit cross- infection when imaging neonates on our special care baby unit. Since the start of the pandemic we have repurposed them to ensure all chest x-rays on suspected/ confirmed COVID-19 patients include an anatomical marker. This has eliminated the risk of radiographic markers becoming a fomite for cross-contamination. The markers are brightly coloured, which prevents radiographers from placing them over areas of anatomical interest, thus reducing the need for repeat imaging. They are also easy to use and can be stuck on the imaging detector prior to starting a procedure.”

Beekley’s radiopaque L-SPOT and R-SPOT markers are designed to provide permanent documentation on film ensuring anatomical orientation is permanently identified as right or left. “Single use makes them suitable for isolation, trauma, neonatal and burn units,” the company says. “Using them on chest x-rays of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients has been an inventive way to improve infection control, enhance communication, provide permanent documentation and reduce repeat imaging.”

Picture: Radiopaque L-SPOT and R-SPOT markers from Beekley.

Published on page 18 of the March 2021 issue of RAD Magazine.

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