Efficacy of a radiation safety education initiative in reducing radiation exposure in the pediatric IR suite

Pediatr Radiol. 2008 Jun;38(6):669-74. doi: 10.1007/s00247-008-0826-9. Epub 2008 Apr 15.


Background: The use of ionizing radiation is essential for diagnostic and therapeutic imaging in the interventional radiology (IR) suite. As the complexity of procedures increases, radiation exposure risk increases. We believed that reinforcing staff education and awareness would help optimize radiation safety.

Objective: To evaluate the effect of a radiation safety education initiative on IR staff radiation safety practices and patient radiation exposure.

Materials and methods: After each fluoroscopic procedure performed in the IR suite during a 4-month period, dose-area product (DAP), fluoroscopy time, and use of shielding equipment (leaded eyeglasses and hanging lead shield) by IR physicians were recorded. A lecture and article were then given to IR physicians and technologists that reviewed ALARA principles for optimizing radiation dose. During the following 4 months, those same parameters were recorded after each procedure.

Results: Before education 432 procedures were performed and after education 616 procedures were performed. Physician use of leaded eyeglasses and hanging shield increased significantly after education. DAP and fluoroscopy time decreased significantly for uncomplicated peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC) procedures and non-PICC procedures after education, but did not change for complicated PICC procedures.

Conclusion: Staff radiation safety education can improve IR radiation safety practices and thus decrease exposure to radiation of both staff and patients.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical, Continuing / methods*
  • Eye Protective Devices
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control
  • Radiation Protection / methods*
  • Radiation, Ionizing
  • Radiology, Interventional / education*
  • Safety
  • Time Factors