A survey of the radiation exposures received by the staff at two cardiac catheterization laboratories

Published on Jan 1, 2008
tBrian Burry1
Estimated H-index: 1
Staff working in cardiac catheterization laboratories receive radiation exposures from primary radiation (if any part of their body is placed within the X-ray beam) or from secondary radiation due to scatter from the patient and image intensifier and to leakage from the X-ray tube. As a result, the radiation exposure distribution over a staff member's body is expected to be non-uniform. In order to evaluate the radiation somatic risk to be assigned to an individual, and to assess the efficacy of the personal shielding used, radiation exposures must be measured at specific anatomical locations. In the study described here, radiation exposures received by catheterization laboratory personnel were measured at various body locations in two separate laboratories over 3-5 day periods. This study was initiated as a consequence of conventional radiation monitoring by the federal regulatory agency (Bureau of Radiation and Monitoring Devices, Health and Welfare Canada), which had indicated that occasional high exposures were received by some individuals. This conventional monitoring used only a single dosimeter mounted at head level and, consequently, did not provide a measure of the exposure distribution received over the body. The exposures described here were determined using lithium fluoride thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs), which have been used successfully in the past for measuring radiation doses during cardiac radiological procedures (Faulkner et al, 1986). The study in one laboratory was at the Royal Jubilee Hospital (RJH) in Victoria, British Columbia, in which interventional procedures were performed almost exclusively. The study included seven cardiologists and one nurse for 25 procedures. The study in the second laboratory was at the Victoria General Hospital (VGH) which was used mainly for diagnostic procedures. This study included three cardiologists and one nurse for 18 cases.
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