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A Survey On Radiotherapy Table Tolerances and Couch Overrides of Over 350 Institutions

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B Chinsky

B Chinsky*, R Patel , J Panfil , M Surucu , J Roeske , Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL


SU-E-T-84 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: Table overrides are relatively common in radiotherapy, yet are a potential safety concern. The goal of this study was to survey current departmental policies on treatment couch overrides and table tolerance values used clinically.

Methods: A 25 question electronic survey on couch overrides and tolerances was sent to full members of the AAPM. In the first part of the survey, participants were asked: if table overrides were allowed at their institution, who was allowed to perform these overrides, and if imaging was required with overrides. In the second part of the survey, individuals were asked to provide table tolerance data for the following sites: brain/head & neck, lung, breast, abdomen/pelvis and prostate. Each site was further divided into IMRT/VMAT and 3D conformal techniques. Free-text spaces were provided, allowing respondents to enter any table tolerance data they were unable to specify under the treatment sites listed.

Results: A total of 361 individuals responded, of which approximately half participated in the couch tolerances portion of the survey. Overall, 86% of respondents’ institutions allow couch tolerance overrides at treatment. Therapists were the most common staff members permitted to perform overrides, followed by physicists, dosimetrists, and physicians, respectively. Of the institutions allowing overrides, 34% reported overriding daily. More than half of the centers require documentation of the override and/or a setup image (acquired after override) to radiographically verify the treatment site. With respect to table tolerances, groups resulting from the free-text responses were at the two extremes; SRS/SBRT were the tightest, while clinical setup/mets/extremities were the most generous. There was no qualitative difference between IMRT/VMAT and 3D conformal table tolerances.

Conclusion: This work is intended to stimulate a discussion within the radiotherapy community. This discussion, supplemented by the survey results provides an opportunity for institutions to enhance patient safety during daily treatment delivery.

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