Devices for Holding the Image Receptor

The image receptor, or film-screen system, holding device requires careful consideration and creative design in order to obtain the position required. At established imaging centers, standard devices are built into the fixed system and lack the flexibility that may be required to obtain the necessary projections. Historically, radiographers conducting portable radiographic procedures in a patient's room or trauma cases in emergency room situations may have been challenged to improvise an image receptor holding device, such as a wastebasket (Figure 2.42).

In the field, the film-holding device can be constructed from materials at or near the site. Sometimes, what is required can be found in dumpsters. Cardboard and duct tape generally seemed to factor strongly in the design and configuration of many of the filmholding devices in the field. Cardboard boxes with tunnels cut through them to pass the subject through work quite as well as film holders (Figure 2.43). Since it can be easily cut to desired lengths, PVC pipe can be used as a film-holding device. Lengths of pipe can also be easily angled, allowing for various projections (Figure 2.44). When using a suspended x-ray tube support system, the subject can be placed on spacers, allowing the film to be placed underneath the subject (Figure 2.45).

Creative film-holding devices require ingenuity, critical thinking, and common sense. For example, the device needs to be flexible and also sturdy enough not to collapse onto the subject under study. One can even construct a suspended sling from string, cloth, or rope

Figure 2.37 Lateral chest radiograph confirming that the two radiopaque structures (A) were calcified hilar lymph nodes and that the coin (B) was within the chest cavity.

to hold the film above the subject (Figure 2.46). Using these varied film-holding methods, nearly every clinical position can be replicated and data regarding anatomical structures can be collected.

Given the creativity required to apply conventional radiography in a field situation, several unique technical challenges may arise. The following technical challenges and their solutions are intended to stimulate the reader's mind and broaden the scope of application of conventional radiography.

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