The topic of radiation safety in the cath lab has been on the rise in recent years. In 2015 alone, there were 42 publications related to the occupational hazards of working with interventional fluoroscopy, an amount double that of the year prior. Some risks have been widely known for a while including radiation-induced cancer, cataracts, and orthopedic strain from heavy lead protective equipment. Others have been uncovered only more recently including accelerated vascular aging, cognitive impairment, hypertension, and left-sided brain tumors.
Concern has become so widespread that Endovascular Today devoted their entire August issue to the topic of radiation safety. For many years there have been significant initiatives undertaken to reduce radiation dose to the patient and although technologies have been developed to protect operators and their staff, including 5 that were listed in a recent DAIC article, to date they have been underutilized. There is a tremendous opportunity for cath lab teams to develop radiation safety initiatives that extend to everyone in the cath lab and we have partnered with several hospitals to do just that.
In past posts we have discussed how robotics can enable physicians to reduce their radiation exposure by up to 95% and how, by taking simple measures, staff may reduce their radiation exposure as well. In this regard, we practice what we preach. When a hospital launches a robotic program in their cath lab, our clinical team comes armed with the tools to educate the cath lab on radiation safety best practices, both in general and for robotic-assisted procedures. Once the team has completed their in-service, we immediately help them put into practice what they learned. Even after the robotic program is launched, these best practices continue to be integral to training and growth.
We are committed to providing the safest work environment possible and as such, we have partnered with the Organization for Occupational Radiation Safety in Interventional Fluoroscopy (ORSIF), to raise awareness for the risks and to provide solutions that meet the needs of the modern cath lab. Visit www.ORSIF.org to download their recent White Paper Supplement entitled “Occupational Exposure to Ionizing Radiation in Interventional Fluoroscopy: Severity of Adverse Effects of a Growing Health Problem.” You can also download their radiation safety poster which can be put in your cath lab as a reminder to always keep safety in mind.
You can also download our issue brief to see how robotics can impact operator safety in complex PCI.
Interested in starting a Vascular Robotic Program at your hospital? Click the link below to download our free eBook, a comprehensive guide with tips and tricks on how to build a successful program.