Objectives: This clinical study evaluated the efficacy of a novel radiation shielding system for the cardiac catheterization laboratory designed to provide comprehensive protection that obviates the need for personal lead aprons.
Background: Invasive Cardiologists are exposed to occupational health hazards related directly to radiation exposure (RE) and indirectly to the orthopedic burden of wearing only partially protective lead aprons. Innovations to reduce these risks are warranted. A novel comprehensive shielding system (ProtegoTM , Image Diagnostics Inc, Fitchburg, Ma) has been validated in pre-clinical studies to provide excellent radiation protection, sufficient for the State of Michigan to certify it for use without need for personal lead aprons.
Methods: This clinical analysis measured RE to a single Physician operator utilizing the ProtegoTM shield (and not wearing personal lead apron) during routine cardiac catheterization procedures (diagnostic and interventional). RE was measured at both thyroid and waist level with a real-time dosimetry system (RaysafeTM , Billdal, Sweden), calculated on a median per case basis (mrems). Additional parameters collected included procedure type, access site, per case fluoroscopy time, and patient factors including body mass index.
Results: In n=98 cases (25% diagnostic, 75% interventional including 22% chronic total occlusions), median/case RE was 0.4 mrems (thyroid) and 0.2 mrems (waist). RE=0 in 12 cases. In no case did radiation exposure exceed 3.2 mrems.
Conclusion: The ProtegoTM shield system provides excellent RE protection to the Physician operator, without the need for personal lead aprons and has the potential to reduce catheterization laboratory occupational health hazards.
Keywords: occupational hazard; occupational health; radiation safety.
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