A homogeneous x-ray beam can be defined as a beam that contains photon of only one energy as compared to heterogeneous x-ray beam containing several photons of energies1. When a homogeneous x-ray beam passes through a medium, its intensity falls exponentially with the distance covered. Raising the tube current will increase the intensity of the X-ray beam and no change in the homogeneity of the X-ray beam. Increasing the beam filtration will reduce the intensity of the X-ray beam and increase the homogeneity of the X-ray beam 1.
Reducing the tube voltage will decrease the homogeneity and intensity of the X-ray beam. Using a target material with a higher atomic number will increase the intensity and increase the homogeneity therefore producing good diagnostic images 1. Other factors that affect x-ray beam homogeneity are mA, kVp, target material, distance and half value thickness (HVT) which is that thickness of a specified material which will reduce the intensity of a beam of x-radiation to half its original value1.
A beam is more penetrative or of higher quality if it has a higher half value layer. The effective photon energy of a heterogeneous x-ray beam is equal to the photon energy of homogeneous x-ray beam which has the same half value layer as the heterogeneous beam in question.
The need for frequent quality assurance test, and repairs (in case of total breakdown) are well known: lack of such services leads to underutilization of expensive medical equipment, thereby making health-care services in any country less cost-effective 2. The problems of quality control, preventive maintenance in Enugu is on the increase; this is the case because the demand for modern medical equipment in the health-care sector has increased in recent years, but this has not been accompanied by a commensurate increase in qualified personnel in medical electronics to provide the needed services. Using service engineers from foreign suppliers to overcome this problem is not a viable option; this is because the service is not available under short notice, and when available it is prohibitively expensive. Therefore, local medical centers in Enugu have continued to rely on the scarce services provided by the qualified local personnel in medical electronics.
Quality assurance test of x-ray equipment in Enugu are further worsened by the general lack of skill, personnel, and suitable tools in carrying out the test. This, coupled with the chronic shortage of personnel in medical electronics and financial resources, has exacerbated the problem by lowering the possibilities for follow up actions based on the results of quality control procedures.
The benefits of using high-quality X-ray images in diagnosing disease and in the guidance of therapeutic procedures are well known. X-rays are used in the diagnosis of many diseases and disorders, and they help clinicians confirm or rule out a diagnosis. The risk to individuals from the radiation used in diagnostic X-rays is small compared to the benefits which accurate diagnosis and treatment can provide 2. Unfortunately, due to the rapid increase in the number of X-ray units in Enugu, many users of X-ray equipment do not understand the basic principles of radiation protection, thus maximizing the associated radiation risks to patients. The benefits of diagnostic X-rays are drastically reduced when the equipment is operated without adequate quality control and maintenance. In most cases, such equipment has higher radiation risks because of an increased dose in a single exposure and repeated exposure attributed to low image quality. 3, 4
The provision of high quality health care services is the goal of all medical outfits. In the case of diagnostic radiological facilities 3 patient selection, the conduct of examination and the interpretation of the result can all have an impact on the achievement of these goals. It has been increasingly recognized that quality assurance program directed at equipment and operator performance can be of great value in improving the diagnostic information content, reducing radiation exposure, reducing medical cost and improving departmental management. This quality assurance program contributes to the provision of high quality health care. 4
Despites the emphasis on the need for quality assurance test, it is still been given poor attention in many radiology departments due to some limiting factors which includes (i) lack of tools or equipment needed for this test (ii) poor attention and low interest, on the part of Head of Radiology Department (iii) lack of knowhow, due to no practical exposure during the academic training. The impetus for this research came as a result of the concern that the recent increase in the acquisition of X-ray machines in Enugu with limited technical knowhow and tools to maintain and assessment of such equipment can severely undermine the anticipated health benefits from diagnostic X-ray examinations.
Quality control is important in nations that use or intend to use objective assessment of radiological images and international image quality guidelines to unify X-ray-imaging practices nationally and internationally. 5,6 The aim of this work is to report on the current status of homogeneity of X-ray beam in x-ray producing machines in Enugu metropolis.
ASSESSMENT OF HOMOGENEITY OF X-RAY BEAM PRODUCED BY X-RAY MACHINES WITHIN ENUGU METROPOLIS
INTRODUCTION A homogeneous x-ray beam can be defined as a beam that contains photon of only one energy as compared to heterogeneous x-ray beam containing several photons of energies1. When a homogeneous x-ray beam passes through a medium, its intensity falls exponentially with the distance covered. Raising the tube current will increase the... Continue Reading
Nine samples of freshly prepared kunu was taken from local vendors and hawkers at Tanke area, Ilorin, Kara State and analyzed for microbial quality. The pH of the samples ranged from 2.66 to 4.06. The total bacterial count ranged from 1.5×104 to 7.4×104 cfu/ml; the total coliform count ranged from 1.0x102 to 8.0x103cfu/ml; the faecal coliform... Continue Reading
ABSTRACT This study was designed to evaluate the status of light beam diaphragm in government and private radiology departments in Enugu state. This was conducted using questionnaire and a quality assurance test method to check the beam alignment and collimator accuracy of x-ray equipment in radiology centers in Enugu state. The main objectives... Continue Reading
ABSTRACT Nunu is Nigerian locally fermented milk product commonly prepared by Hausa/Fulani cattle rearers. It’s mostly available in the Northern part of Nigeria. It’s production and consumption derives food security and economic benefits to the rural people in the region. However, the process characteristics results in products which are not... Continue Reading
ABSTRACT So far, mammographic screening is the only mode of detection that has been shown to reduce breast cancer mortality (Montazeri et al). Thus unless women are educated about mammography and mammographic screening, the goal of reducing breast cancer fatalities will remain out of reach. The aim of this study is to assess mammographic screening... Continue Reading
ABSTRACT This project is aimed at studying the attitude of secretaries towards the use of modern office machines. In the course of carrying out this project, the effect of these modern office machine on the productivity of secretaries was discussed. The research paper also focused on the uses and importance of these modern office machine. In order... Continue Reading
ABSTRACT The specific objective of this study was to evaluate the standard of cleanliness of intracavitory transducers by Sonographers in Enugu; the exposure to infectious diseases and the specific regulatory guidelines for infection control in ultrasound laboratory.The research was a non-experimental cross sectional study. The sample size was 46... Continue Reading
ABSTRACT The study was carried out in three government hospitals in Enugu metropolis. It was carried out to assess the level of awareness and attitude of emergency physicians towards the use of CT in patients with head injury. Questionnaire was the major instrument for data collection. The study sought to assess the reasons for the non regular... Continue Reading
Patients’ consent to being part of the education of Medical Radiography is often taken for granted hence formal consent is not always sought during teaching and patients are sometimes not aware that they are going to be used for teaching activities. Some students of Radiography are not even aware of patients’ right to privacy when they come... Continue Reading
ABSTRACT Air pollutions pollutant showed that the extent of spreading depends on the motor vehicle traffic population of the area. This pollution strongly generated through combustion of fossil fuels presents difficult environmental challenge to societies as it could degrade the environment and affect human health and quality of life. Vehicular... Continue Reading