There is no doubt that digital radiography systems have transformed how we do our jobs and how we make our diagnoses and treatment. This is especially true in the veterinary sector, where most of our tasks call for appropriate protection and a lot of common sense. But if you have invested in the right equipment as a veterinarian, then you should also invest in making sure that you are using your equipment right – and protecting it from trauma or damage.
The importance of protecting your digital sensor
Digital x-ray machines are equipped with a sensor which is not only the machine’s most crucial component – it is also the most sensitive part of the equipment. First of all, you have to be sure to handle it with care every time. Be mindful of damaging it by accidentally stepping on it or even dropping it. The pet can also inflict some trauma on the sensor, so make sure the pet is already well under anaesthesia when you place or insert the sensor into their mouth. Often, in our hurry to do our tasks, we neglect to check the pet’s condition – so you have to be mindful of this at all times, not just for the sake of the sensor, but your own safety as well.
The conventional method of protection
Most digital radiography system manufacturers will provide you with a specially-made sleeve (made of plastic) that can be placed over the machine’s sensor so it will be adequately protected from water, as suppliers like Photon Imaging Systems (you can check their products and services at www.photon-imaging.com) will confirm. These sleeves are made of plastic, and are quite similar in texture and make to a Ziploc plastic bag. This means, though, that the sleeve might be a bit on the slippery side, making your job more difficult as it can easily slip out of the pet’s mouth. You have two options to prevent this, however: one is to make use of a special Vetwrap (which is not waterproof and can also make the sensor bulkier), and the other is to make your own cover or protection.
Your own custom-made protection
The second option you have, as mentioned above, is where you make your own cover or protection. You need not worry, because this is actually quite easy and effective. First, you simply need to place the plastic sleeve given by the manufacturer over the sensor. Then, get a Nitrile rubber glove and a pair of scissors and cut off one finger from the glove. Stretch the part you have cut over the sensor’s top, which will then add a layer of additional protection and an even better grip so the sensor can properly stay in the pet’s mouth.