Australian news, and some related international items

A reminder to clinicians – nuclear medicine has radiation dangers

Clinicians Get Real on Radiation: ‘Don’t Do Dumb Things’
Awareness of surroundings and others in the room are key to proper cath-lab radiation safety, a VIVA “roundtable” concluded.
TCTMD, By L.A. McKeown
November 07, 2019 S VEGAS, NV—Keeping cath lab staff as well as patients safe and within acceptable levels of radiation is a priority that operators can and should be doing on a daily basis, experts here agreed.

The most crucial message for clinicians is that “they are primarily responsible not only for their own personal safety and the patient’s safety, but of everyone in the room,” Mark Bates, MD, DSc (West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown), told TCTMD. He co-moderated a roundtable at VIVA 2019 on radiation protection strategies that provided a glimpse of how the future might look.

“I think 10 years from now we’re going to be in a position where a lot of procedures in the vasculature are going to be done with minimal radiation exposure as we optimize the existing technology, as well as some of the new laser- or light-augmented three-dimensional imaging,” he added…….

he encouraged operators to be aware of their trainees and monitor them for excess radiation exposure.

“As experienced interventionists, we see anatomy that we know is going to be a challenge,” he explained, “[but] we watch our trainees move through the algorithm and change to different wires and different catheters much slower than what we’re used to doing because they need to learn how to do it. Not only are they taking on radiation, but the patients are taking on a lot of extra radiation, too. I think we need to control the time that we allow trainees to perform certain aspects of the procedure.”……

Communication, Visualization, and Behavior Change

Gray noted that while you may have adequate shielding in your cath lab, it won’t help if you don’t use it correctly. A side drape, for example, that gets in your way and is pushed aside out of annoyance may make a difference in exposure levels for everyone in the room.

“That’s really the dumbest thing you could do, so don’t do dumb things,” he said. Gray added that understanding the effects of scatter on yourself may be a simple as looking at your hands for loss of hair on the fingers and wrists. At his institution Geiger counters are used when X-ray badges indicate elevated radiation exposures for individual operators. “So, you have an auditory signal that’s telling you that you’re on the pedal,” he said, adding that it may help in situations where staff are reaching over the table and may not even realize they are being exposed……..

November 9, 2019 - Posted by | General News

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