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Blog von Pearl Technology

Radiology, patientpositioning



Positioning aids have become an indispensable part of everyday radiological practice and play a crucial role in keeping patients stable and comfortable. In this way, they make a significant contribution to the successful and efficient conduct of examinations. There are many different types of positioning aids that are used depending on the area of application, such as belts, comfort cushions, covers, foams and inflatable systems.


The demands on man and machine are increasing, whether due to legal requirements or ever higher patient throughput. Aspects such as sustainable radiology are also becoming increasingly important. Although the diagnosis of infections does not take place in radiology, compliance with protective measures and hygiene regulations plays a decisive role in preventing infections. Regular and thorough disinfection of positioning aids is therefore essential to avoid infection during patient positioning.

The following blog addresses various topics that play a role in the selection of patient positioning aids, including hygiene issues, but also other relevant aspects.


Why are regulatory requirements so important for pOSITIONING AIDS 

When selecting positioning aids, it is recommended that, in addition to the general usefulness for the respective examinations, the fulfilment of the legal requirements for the medical devices is also taken into account. ce-europaeische-konformitaetskennzeichnung-verpackungssymbol-1

In Europe, the CE marking is an important criterion for this. The marking ensures that the product complies with the European safety requirements for medical devices and is thus suitable for use on patients. Positioning aids come into direct contact with the patient in medical imaging and must therefore be safe and hygienic to prevent injury or infection. By choosing products with CE labeling, healthcare professionals can ensure that they have chosen a product that meets European safety standards.  

With the introduction of the Medical Device Regulation in May 2021, the requirements for manufacturers have increased significantly, even for class 1 medical devices such as support devices. Manufacturers will be required to meet higher standards for the safety, quality and efficacy of their products. 

The aim of the «new» MDR is to successively increase safety for patients, whereby users are also made responsible for using medical devices with the corresponding declaration of conformity/CE certificate and verification documents.


In addition to CE labeling and MDR, radiolucency is also an important factor in the selection of patient positioning devices in radiology. "Is the positioning aid visible on the images?" is one of the most frequently asked questions. This relatively simple question has a relatively simple answer: "Positioning aids that are invisible as well as perfectly hygienic at the same time does not exist". As soon as positioning aids are coated or welded in foil for hygienic reasons, they will no longer be completely "invisible". Nevertheless, there are important aspects to this question:Image (1)

  • Are positioning aids visible or do they even cause artefacts on the different modalities (MRI, CT, X-ray, etc.)?
  • Are the positioning aids in use in conventional X-ray (visibility is negligible in 3D imaging)?
  • Have the positioning aids been tested for a specific kV range?
  • In which situations are the positioning aids used within the field of view?
  • Can a disturbing edge be avoided by correct positioning of the positioning aid?

It is important that positioning aids are designed in such a way that no artefacts are caused on the X-ray images. Even if there is no such thing as an "invisible positioning aid", professional solutions allow safe and standardised use and reduce sources of error and unpleasant surprises on the images.



Another important factor when selecting patient positioning equipment is durability. A durable product saves costs in the long run and reduces the need for frequent replacements. Therefore, it is important to choose products that are made of high-quality materials and are designed to last a long time. A durable product also helps to protect the environment and save resources, and is therefore not only economically but also ecologically sensible. 

It is hard to imagine everyday radiology without hard-wearing positioning aids. Most patients depend on positioning aids to be able to hold their position comfortably and safely during diagnostics or therapy. Inadequate positioning can lead to physical discomfort and pain for the patient, which is especially important during long examinations.

devices are also often used in hygienically demanding environments, where they must be cleaned and disinfected after each use. If the surface of the support is not durable enough, it can be easily damaged, increasing the risk of infection or injury to the patient. Durable positioning aids are therefore indispensable to ensure the patient's safety and comfort during diagnostics and therapy.

Defective or damaged positioning solutions should definitely be removed from use to prevent transmission of pathogens during patient positioning.

In the interview with Michael Bünte, experienced radiographer, this topic is discussed in more detail. 

The most important key notes from the interview: 

  • Regular disinfection leads to rapid wear and damage of coated positioning aids.
  • Plastic bags or patient covers are not a sufficient hygiene barrier as they have to be changed after each patient.  
  • The use of plastic bags can cause unpredictable and changeable artefacts or shadows in the exposure area.  
  • Digital X-ray systems enhance contours / edges (edge hardening). Therefore, it has an increased relevance to avoid this source of error.


Cleaning and care instructions:

In the medical context, clear guidelines on cleaning, disinfection and correct use of positioning products are essential to ensure the safety of patients and staff. Manufacturers' cleaning and care instructions should be based on the standards developed and regularly updated by national and international institutions such as the Robert Koch Institute, the World Health Organisation and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The cleaning and care instructions record how the medical devices must be cleaned and disinfected and which disinfectants should be used. It also includes recommendations for correct use, such as weight restriction, duration of use and intended use.  

Users should be sure to consult the manufacturer's instructions when cleaning and disinfecting positioning aids to avoid damage to surfaces and to ensure residue-free cleaning. For example, the following is recommended when cleaning Pearl Technology AG positioning aids:

1_CTTC_Cleaning (2)

  • Wipe-disinfect product after each use for surface disinfection.
  • The cleaning agent should not be sprayed directly onto the product at any time.
  • Approved disinfectants can be found in the cleaning 
    recommendation for the respective product on the homepage.
  • Do not sterilise products.

All Pearl Technology AG positioning aids are made of a smooth and hard-wearing TPU foil. This can be cleaned very easily without leaving any residue and even withstands strong disinfectants, for example with 90% alcohol concentration.


In summary, it can be said that positioning aids in radiology play a decisive role in avoiding infection risks. Correct cleaning and disinfection of positioning devices according to the manufacturer's instructions can prevent sources of infection. It is also important to use durable positioning devices to avoid rapid wear and damage, which can increase the risk of infection and injury. It is essential to follow the clear guidelines in the medical context for cleaning and disinfection, as well as correct use of positioning materials, to ensure the safety of patients and staff. Overall, all steps to prevent infection risks in patient positioning should be carefully followed to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for patients. 

Credits to: Michael Bünte, radiographer, for preparing the content (



Pearl Technology AG, based in Schlieren, offers innovative solutions for the placement, positioning and immobilization of patients in radiology and radiotherapy. The products are manufactured in Switzerland according to ISO norm 13485 and are characterized by simple handling, high patient comfort and excellent hygiene which guarantees smooth and safe examination processes.

Download further information on our patient positioning portfolio for radiology and nuclear medicine or contact us directly in order to receive further information on our patient positioning solutions.