COVID-19: Resources and Useful Links

Australia and New Zealand are now both seeing patients presenting with respiratory disease either suspected or known to be due to the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19). The College has been monitoring emerging literature relevant to our Radiology and Radiation Oncology members. The resources identified include key links to educational material on imaging findings and links to information on how to prepare your service or practice to cope with the challenges this novel virus is bringing.

This is an evolving situation and multidisciplinary advice and research will continue to be updated in the coming weeks. We encourage you to closely follow the advice of your local Health Departments.

Resources for Members

Clinical Radiology Resources

Last updated 30 March 2020

Please find below a list of resources to assist radiology departments. Please note these documents are intended to be helpful resources and not an exhaustive guide. Please refer to jurisdictional information for regular updates:

  • COVID department preparedness checklist Download
  • Procedure for Covering Injection Pump and Associated Non–Disposable Injector - related equipment Download
  • Top 10 safety and quality tips for radiology during the COVID-19 pandemic Download
  • Sign for door of radiology department Download
  • Flow chart – identification and management of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases Download
  • Letter template – referral of patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 Download

RANZCR’s Standard of Practice for Clinical Radiology specify monitor and working station requirements for radiologists. The following documents have been developed in consultation with the ACPSEM and its Radiology Specialty Group to support individual radiologists who may be asked by their employers to work from home-based work environments due to quarantining and social distancing for COVID-19. They are a guide only. 

  • Workstation self-assessment recommendation checklists Download
  • TG-18QC test pattern Download
  • Guidance for monitor requirements from the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM) Download  
  • List of consumer grade monitors that meet ACPSEM requirements  Download  
    (to be used as a guide only, not an exhaustive list of what is available) 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

The list of consumer grade monitors that meet the ACPSEM requirements is not exhaustive and serves only as a guide. RANZCR believes it is the responsibility of employers to ensure that radiologists working in home-based environments have access to appropriate diagnostic grade monitors that overall meet the standards as specified in RANZCR’s Standards of Practice for Clinical Radiology. 

The guidance for monitor requirements was designed by the ACPSEM (via the Radiology Specialty Group) in response to a request from RANZCR for its consideration to provide radiologists with a consistent method of self-assessment to determine the suitability of a remote workstation for reporting diagnostic general Xray, CT, Ultrasound and MRI images with the understanding that: 

  • using dedicated, department-based reporting workstations during the COVID-19 pandemic poses a risk of transmitting or receiving viral infection
  • having remote workstations individually assessed by a medical physicist at this time is not practical given physicist availability, and risk of transmitting or receiving viral infection
  • most radiologists will not have the equipment available to measure luminance metrics, or to perform monitor calibrations
  • dedicated reporting workstations that will meet RANZCR Standards of Practice are being procured, but currently have an 8-10-week lead time 
  • these guidelines are being suggested as a risk mitigation strategy and are not best practice. 

It should be stressed that this process is designed to enable radiologists to minimise risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 by enacting social isolation, and strong workplace redundancy practices. This is a temporary solution while primary diagnostic monitor procurement occurs. This should not be considered a long-term solution and relies on constant professional evaluation to ensure that monitors meet minimum clinical requirements. If available, it is recommended that any remote workstation is assessed to the performance requirements of the RANZCR Standards of Practice, by a qualified professional.

  • CIRSE: Checklist for preparing your interventional radiology service View  
  • Society of Interventional Radiology: Guidance on aerosol generating procedures performed by interventional radiology View  
  • Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery: Recommendations for the care of emergent neurointerventional patients in the setting of COVID-19 View 
  • INR Resource - European Society INR Management View
    Please note this report was produced in a jurisdiction with different levels of community transmission to those experienced in Australia and New Zealand. RANZCR does not support the recommendation for CT to be used for the diagnosis of patients under investigation for COVID-19.

Normal appropriate use criteria for imaging patients presenting with an acute respiratory illness should be applied. CT should not be used for routine screening for COVID-19 disease. As with other causes of acute lung injury, it has a role in the evaluation of patients for potential complications. 

The advice regarding the use of imaging is consistent with position statements released by both the American College of Radiology and the Society of Thoracic Radiology (STR). The STR statement is as follows: At this time, the STR does not recommend routine CT screening for the diagnosis of patients under investigation for COVID-19. Chest CT can be restricted to patients who test positive for COVID-19 and who are suspected of having complicating features such as abscess or empyema. 

A volumetric CT of the entire chest at end inspiration is recommended, with reconstruction of contiguous high-resolution (HR) images at 0.625-mm to 1.5-mm slice thickness (without an interslice gap) for assessment of the lungs. Intravenous contrast should be used when clinically indicated. 

We would like to thank the College’s special interest group, the Australian and New Zealand Society of Thoracic Radiology (ANZSTR), and particularly Dr Sharyn MacDonald and Dr Catherine Jones for their work in reviewing these resources. We also pass our thanks on to Dr Jeffrey Kanne, Department of Radiology University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Madison WI for his assistance in preparing these useful resources

The STR has made two lectures on COVID-19 presented at its annual meeting on 10 March 2020 freely available on its website. Jeffrey Kanne's lecture provides an overview of COVID-19. Michael Chung's lecture is focused on the CT findings and includes scroll throughs of multiple CT stacks. COVID-19 produces a diverse pattern of lung disease on CT. Findings overlap other causes of acute lung injury including influenza. Key findings on CT are: 

  • Bilateral, peripheral, basilar abnormalities
  • Rounded morphology
  • Absence of lymphadenopathy, effusions, cavitation, nodules

CT Case Libraries

Radiation Oncology Resources

27 March 2020

Please find below a list of resources to assist Radiation Oncology departments. Please note these documents are intended to be helpful resources and not an exhaustive guide. Please refer to jurisdictional information for regular updates:

 Pandemic Planning Clinical Guideline for Patients with Cancer (Ontario Health) Covid-19 Outbreak in Northern Italy: First Practical Implications for Radiotherapy DepartmentsHandbook of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment

General Resources

Preparing your Service/Practice

The College of Radiologists, Singapore has published articles and made available information based on their experience with COVID-19 and SARS including:

Government Advice

The Australian and New Zealand Governments are providing daily updates on the latest medical advice and official reports on their websites. These pages include a collection of useful resources for health professionals and the public in general. You can access this information at the below links:

Australian Government Department of Health 

New Zealand Ministry of Health

The latest updates and advice about COVID-19 from Australia’s Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Chief Medical Officer are available in transcripts and media releases on the Australian Government Department of Health website

Links to Federal and State Jurisdictions

Western Australia Department of Health

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Tasmania Government, Department of Health

Coronavirus, information for health professionals

COVID-19 and Pregnant Healthcare Workers

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) acknowledges the risk posed to the community, healthcare workers and all patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more on the RANZCOG website here.