Hands Free Small Animal Radiographs Policy

VTH Policy #PtHand912

Implementation Date: 3/29/2023

Date of Last Revision: 3/29/2023

Next Review Due: 5/28/2026


Reviewed by VTH Administrative Team: 2/28/2023

Reviewed by VTH Board:  N/A


Reviewed by Legal Counsel: N/A

Reviewed by Biosecurity Subcommittee: N/A

Subject to modification by the VTH Director without approval.


The purpose of this policy is to restrict the use of physical restraint or positioning of patients during small animal and exotic radiographic exposures.  The goal is to minimize the radiation exposure during radiographs to both humans and small animals.


The policy applies to all faculty, staff (employed and volunteers), and students while they are at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, ordering or performing small animal radiographs.

Procedure (if applicable)

  1. When services submit a radiograph order in SANDI, they enter an initial sedation dose and a backup sedation dose to be used as needed on the order.
  2. If sedation is not entered on the radiograph requisition, the radiograph will not be attempted.
  3. Radiographs of thorax and abdomens will be attempted without sedation if the patient is cooperative. All patients that are to receive orthopedic radiographs will need sedation administered prior to their radiographs attempted.
  4. If diagnostic radiographs cannot be obtained without sedation, imaging staff or whomever is taking radiographs after hours will obtain the initial sedation medication as it is stated in the Imaging Service Sedation for Radiographs SOP.
  5. If the patient is still not cooperative enough to obtain diagnostic radiographs after receiving the initial sedation medication, the backup sedation dose will be obtained and administered.
  6. If diagnostic radiographs cannot be obtained after the backup sedation dose, the ordering service will be contacted, and the patient will return to the service until imaging staff or whomever is taking radiographs after hours receives further sedation instructions.
  7. When the patient is positioned for radiographs, sponges, tape, and, foam troughs should be used in place of human restraint.
  8. Humans should not be physically restraining or positioning patients during radiographic exposures.

Definitions (if applicable)

Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH): The collective clinical services of the Large Animal Clinic, Midwest Equine, the Small Animal Clinic, and the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic.


Keywords:Hands-free, radiograph, exposure, restrain, position, diagnostic   Doc ID:127535
Owner:Jenny C.Group:University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Created:2023-05-01 10:37 CDTUpdated:2023-05-01 10:42 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
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