November 28, 2018

Decrease the Risk of Body Orientation Error in General Imaging

According to The Society and College of Radiology (SCoR), as a best practice, anatomical side markers should be included on all images at time of exposure for legal documentation and safety. In addition, if a side marker is not used, and there is any anatomical doubt, repeat imaging is necessary.

In the study, "A clinical audit of anatomical side marker use in a paediatric medical imaging department," 400 images were evaluated. 94.2% were appropriately marked with anatomical side markers, 5.5% of images had no marker identifying right from left. One of the reasons a marker was missing was reduced access to side markers.

Permanent Documentation with Anatomical Side Markers

Not only do anatomical side markers prevent clinical and radiological confusion, they provide legal documentation. Anatomical side markers are the preferred method because digital side markers carry the risk of error.

One method of marking to identify the side of anatomical location is using Right and Left X-Ray Lead Marker sets that the radiology technologist carries around with them and reuses for each patient image.

While these permanent markers may correctly identify the anatomical side, does their reuse put vulnerable patient types at risk for infection?

Single-Use Anatomical Side Markers May Help Decrease the Risk of HAI’s

Roughly 1 in 25 patients have at least one healthcare associated infection (HAI) on any given day.

This means an estimated 722,000 HAIs occur in acute care hospitals within the USA.

Using a reusable side marker to identify Right and Left in general imaging may carry healthcare associated infections that can possibly harm your staff and patients. A more sanitary solution in reducing the risk of error is using a single-use, disposable side marker.


R-SPOT® and L-SPOT® are self-adhesive side markers that are used for only one patient and then disposed of. This is especially important for immunocompromised patients and other patients at risk of infection like neonatal or newborn imaging, trauma cases, isolation units, burn patients, to name a few.

To learn more about the benefits of disposable anatomical side markers in reducing error and increasing accurate communication, email and ask for a product samples for evaluation.




Melissa Vibberts
Sr. Product Manager

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