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Tag: Radiation-protection

RADPAD® Products help Interventional Physicians Manage Occupational Hazards

Posted on February 18, 2016 by in Safety with no comments

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Tumors, Bad Backs, and Cataracts: Interventional Physicians Face a Lifetime of Risk

By Michael O’Riordan 
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hollywood, FL—Under the Florida sunshine, the day after Super Bowl Sunday, interventional physicians attending a “depressing” session devoted to tumors, cataracts, and surgically-repaired backs likened the situation to the concussion problem currently plaguing athletes in the National Football League. According to one expert, many physicians might not want to know about the problem, but the hazards of the catheterization laboratory can no longer be ignored.

In a town hall meeting at the 2016 International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET), physicians and researchers spoke about the importance of managing the occupational hazards linked with interventional cardiology, radiology, and endovascular surgery, among other fields, discussing everything from the lifetime risks of radiation exposure to the musculoskeletal injuries that slow working physicians at best and, at worst, force an early retirement.

“It was an extraordinarily depressing session,” said Gregg Stone, MD, of Columbia University Medical Center (New York, NY), who participated in the panel discussion. “We give up so much, and we’re so passionate about our specialty and our patients that we do these tremendous personal risks to ourselves and sometimes to our own staff. And I think that does have to change.”

Part of the problem, noted Stone, is that physicians begin their training when they’re young and seemingly indestructible. “You start this specialty as a 20-year-old, and we all feel immortal,” he said. “We’re strong, nothing is happening acutely. Radiation, musculoskeletal effects, cataracts, that’s something so far down the line, and it’s why people aren’t wearing radiation badges or taking this very seriously. It needs to be something that’s really taught early and emphasized in medical school, let alone cardiology training programs.”

William Gray, MD, Lankenau Heart Institute/Main Line Health (Wynnewood, PA), who spoke on the occupational risks of ionizing radiation in interventional procedures, said the issue is similar to the unmasking of lifetime risk that professional football players are exposed to with repetitive hits to the head. “This is a little bit like concussions in the NFL,” said Gray. “People didn’t want to talk about it, but now we’re talking about it. And the more we do, I think, the more relevant it’s going to be for people in their daily lives.”

One of the ISET course directors, Barry Katzen, MD, of the Miami Heart and Vascular Institute in Florida, said the purpose of the session was not meant to be depressing, but rather informative. As a physician who has undergone his “share of back and spine surgery,” Katzen said that if physicians are aware of the risks they’re exposed to throughout their careers, particularly radiation exposure, they can take corrective action. “It’s really more of a Hawthorne effect,” he said. “If you start paying attention to radiation management in your own lab, the reductions can be very dramatic.”

Learning About Radiation Effects From Chernobyl

Image-guided procedures are the leading source of radiation exposure, a problem compounded by the increasing number of interventions performed each year, as well as the by increasing complexity of those procedures, say the experts. Lindsay Machan, MD, of the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC), who also presented on the hazards of radiation exposure at ISET, told the audience that while there is “no safe dose” of radiation, individual genetic response to the hazards vary.

“You really don’t know how susceptible you are,” said Machan. “The brain and the eyes are much more radiation-sensitive than were previously thought, and more disturbingly, the person you relied on to tell you how much radiation is safe almost certainly doesn’t know.”

As a competitive squash player, Machan began to notice deterioration in his game after 15 years in clinical practice. “I went from being nationally ranked to where I couldn’t even win my club championship,” he said. He was diagnosed with a posterior cataract, and later suffered a retinal detachment as a complication from the cataract removal. He told the audience the lens of the eye is “just about the most, if not the most, radiation-sensitive tissue in the body” and posterior subcapsular cataracts are not age-related. These cataracts are typically caused by exposure to radiation.

Machan highlighted the research of the late Basil Worgul, PhD, from Columbia University, who studied radiation as a cause of cataracts in the thousands of workers who participated in the cleanup of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Even among individuals exposed to less radiation than the yearly allowable limit, the researchers documented the onset of cataracts and other relayed eye conditions, leading the group to conclude the threshold for radiation damage was likely much lower than previously believed.

In addition to the damaging effects of radiation on the eyes, there are concerns about head and neck tumors in interventionalists. In 2013, Ariel Roguin, MD, Rambam Medical Center (Haifa, Israel), published a report in the American Journal of Cardiologyhighlighting such concerns. They identified 23 interventional cardiologists, 2 electrophysiologists, and 6 interventional radiologists with brain and neck tumors. In 85% of cancers, the malignancy was documented on the physician’s left side. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean there is a cause-and-effect relationship, physicians typically stand anteriorly to the patient, with their left side closest to the patient’s chest and closest to the source of the radiation.

According to the Organization for Occupational Radiation Safety in Interventional Fluoroscopy (ORSIF), the interventional cardiologist’s head and neck are exposed to approximately 20-30 mSv of ionizing radiation each year. Various regulatory bodies recommend a dose limit of 20 mSv per year up to maximum of 50 mSv while the International Commission on Radiological Protection recommends a annual dose limit of 20 mSv for the lens of the eye, with no single year exceeding 50 mSv.

“Most of us assume we’re going to fall off our career path because of alcohol and apathy, but could this be happening because of our choice of career?” said Machan. “Well, it isn’t destined to happen. We’re not all going to go blind with shrunken testicles. There are things you can do about this.”

Among safeguards, education remains critical, he said. While radiation scatter is the primary cause of radiation exposure, scatter dose to the operator markedly increases in larger patients. In these bigger individuals, particularly those with a BMI exceeding 30, “we are getting blasted when we’re standing near those patients,” he said.

Wearing protection is important, and physicians should make use of ceiling-suspended or mounted shielding screens, if possible, in addition to wearing appropriate lead glasses, said Machan. He recommends minimizing the use of angulation, as this can increase radiation exposure to the operator, as well as to nursing staff and the anesthetist. Machan also recommends limiting the use of fluoroscopy time for observing objects in motion and lowering the intensity of fluoroscopy to the lowest dosages that yield adequate images. Using stored images and image magnification only when needed is also helpful in reducing exposure.

Finally, Machan recommends physicians “step away from the beam,” noting that radiation dissipates inversely as the distance from the source is squared. This means that tissue twice as far away from the radiation source receives 25% of the dose. Physicians, nurses, and technologists should leave the room if they don’t need to there, he said.

Stopping A Career In Its Tracks

While the focus on radiation is justifiably important given the concerns about cancer, Chet Rees, MD, of Baylor Scott and White (Dallas, TX), said musculoskeletal injuries can also “stop a career in its tracks.” The problem has been documented for some time, with a landmark survey from 1997 showing that while 6% of interventional cardiologists reported a herniated cervical disc, more than half had been previously treated for neck or back pain. Compared with other matched physicians, interventional cardiologists were more likely to miss work because of orthopedic injuries or to pull back on practice.

Based on the results of the survey, the term “interventionalist disk disease” was coined.

Rees said the data also show higher risks of cervical spondylosis—a form of degenerative osteoarthritis—in a large survey of interventional electrophysiologists, with older physicians and those in practice the longest more likely to develop the condition. Another survey, this one undertaken by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, found that nearly 10% of operators reported taking a health-related leave of absence and one-third had taken an occupational health-related break. Approximately half of respondents reported orthopedic injuries. And finally, a Mayo Clinic survey similarly documented a high rate of work-related pain among techs, nurses, and physicians working in the cath lab.

While physicians should probably try to find comfort wherever they can, Rees stressed they shouldn’t make do with a lightweight vest. Despite claims from manufacturers about safety and protection offered by lighter vests, Rees said such statements don’t hold much water because regulatory standards for protective radiation garments are tremendously lax and inadequate. Lightweight vests have “poor and inconsistent protection, often counter to their labels,” he said. “A safe bet for interventionalists are non-lightweight, lead-based aprons.”

Two studies presented this week at ISET, including one by Rees, cast significant doubt on the protection provided by lightweight vests. Andrew Lichliter, MD, also of Baylor Scott and White Health (Dallas, TX), said that if physicians are worried about protection from radiation, lead is the best option. “And if it feels really lightweight, you’re probably not getting the protection that you think you are. It takes mass to block these X-rays,” he noted.


Source:
Presentations at: International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy; February 6-10, 2016; Hollywood, FL.

 

RADPAD radiation protection shields and drapes
RADIATION: What We Now Know, by RADPAD® Radiation Protection

RADIATION: What We Now Know, by RADPAD® Radiation Protection

Posted on January 27, 2016 by in Our Blog, Safety with no comments

From the presentation, “Radiation related illnesses: risks and awareness”

The following slides were presented by Erik Radtke, International Marketing & Sales Director at Worldwide Innovations & Technologies. They provide relevant, interesting information about the risks and awareness of radiation related illnesses. Click on each slide for full view:

RADPAD radiation protection shields and drapes

RADPAD radiation protection: Radiation as We Knew It

Radiation as We Knew It

 

RADPAD radiation protection: Radiation as We Knew It

Radiation as We Knew It

Radiation as We Knew It

Radiation: Previously Held Beliefs

 

RADPAD radiation protection: Radiation as We Know It

Radiation as We Know It

 

RADPAD radiation protection: Radiation as We Know It

Radiation as We Know It

 

RADIATION: What we now know

Radiation: What We Now Know

 

Radiation: The Reality as We Know It

Radiation: The Reality as We Know It

 

Radiation: The Reality as We Know It

Documented Evidence

 

The No Brainer radiation protection cap

The No Brainer is Proven to Reduce Radiation Exposure to the brain.

More to come in the series, “Radiation related illnesses: risks and awareness”

To request a No Brainer® sample contact RADPAD®:

Phone: 913-648-3730
or 1-877-7RADPAD (1-877-772-3723)

Fax: 913-648-0131

Email: info@radpad.com

RADPAD® and No Brainer® for Interventional Cardiology

Posted on January 7, 2016 by in Safety with no comments

RADPAD X-Ray Radiation Protection

The Organization for Occupational Radiation Safety in Interventional Fluoroscopy (ORSIF) has released an article containing the results of a new study that supports the use of RADPAD® and No Brainer®.

See the article here or read below:

Organization for Occupational Radiation Safety in Interventional Fluoroscopy (ORSIF) (PRNewsFoto/ORSIF)

Organization for Occupational Radiation Safety in Interventional Fluoroscopy (ORSIF) (PRNewsFoto/ORSIF)

WASHINGTONSept. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The results of a research study indicate that interventional cardiologists receive “very high” radiation exposure levels to the left side of the head specifically when performing fluoroscopically guided invasive cardiovascular (CV) procedures. Even with modern imaging equipment and shielding, a significant exposure difference was seen between the two sides of the head. The study was published in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions, a peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud, MD, FACC, FSCAI, chief of Cardiovascular Medicine, director of Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center Medicine and director, Interventional Cardiology at UC San Diego, authored the study.

According to the study, interventionalists received 16 times the ambient radiation level to the left side of the head during an invasive CV procedure. Also, radiation exposure on the left side of the head was 4.7 times higher than exposure on the right side of the head. Interventional cardiologists typically stand anteriorly to the patient, with the left side of their body closest to the patient’s chest and most proximate to the radiation source.

“The implications of this study are significant when considering the subsequent impact ongoing exposure to even low levels of radiation can have on the health of the practitioner over the course of their career,” said Dr. Mahmud.

Michael Seymour, director, Advocacy Programs for the Organization for Occupational Radiation Safety in Interventional Fluoroscopy (ORSIF), concurs.

“While it is widely known that exposure to ionizing radiation can cause serious adverse health effects to medical practitioners, the adverse health impact on an individual is determined primarily by the dose to which he or she is exposed. Dr. Mahmud’s study clearly suggests that interventional cardiologists receive a very high level of radiation exposure to the head – specifically, to the left side of the head – creating a greater risk of brain tumors, brain disease and other serious illnesses.”

The study was conducted with eleven operators who wore non-lead, XPF (barium sulphate/bismuth oxide) radiation attenuating protective caps, with dosimeters positioned on the outside and inside of the caps to measure radiation exposure levels. Radiation doses were also measured by dosimeters outside the lab to assess ambient radiation levels.

Seymour noted that, with the large number of fluoroscopically guided procedures performed in the U.S. each year, “hospitals need to investigate technologies that position operators farther from the source of radiation to reduce or eliminate the potential for long-term health risks on medical staff without compromising patient outcomes.”

Contact RADPAD® anytime for a No Brainer® sample!

Phone: 913-648-3730
or 1-877-7RADPAD (1-877-772-3723)

Fax: 913-648-0131

Email: info@radpad.com

www.radpad.com

 

 

RADPAD SCATTER RADIATION PROTECTION VISITS LISBON

Posted on October 30, 2015 by in Radpad Visits with no comments

RADPAD went to Lisbon, Portugal recently for CIRSE 2015.

RADPAD Scatter Radiation Protection Shields, Drapes and Caps

RADPAD Visits Lisbon

6,600 members attended CIRSE 2015 – a new attendance record!

RADPAD X-Ray Scatter Radiation Protection Shields and Drapes

The Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) is a non-profit, educational and scientific association aiming to improve patient care through the support of teaching, science, research and clinical practice in the field of cardiovascular and interventional radiology.

RADPAD Scatter Radiation Protection Shields, Drapes and Caps

Interventional radiology is an innovative and ever-expanding specialty that provides minimally invasive treatments for a wide range of diseases, which are performed by trained physicians under appropriate image-guidance. CIRSE aims to support education and further research in this field, as well as ensuring excellent patient safety and timely access to IR therapies.

For more information and to request a free No Brainer Surgical Cap visit www.radpad.com

 

 

 

 

RADPAD® SCATTER RADIATION PROTECTION VISITS TEL AVIV, ISRAEL

Posted on October 14, 2015 by in Our Blog with no comments

VASCULAR ACCESS CONGRESS

RADPAD® visited Tel Aviv, Israel for 4th Israeli Vascular Access Conference. It is an event put on by the Vascular Access Society.

RADPAD® got a great reception and response at the conference. Here’s the team in Tel Aviv:

Radpad X-Ray Scatter Protection Shields and Drapes

RADPAD @ 4th Israeli Vascular Congress

 

Vascular Access Society
The Vascular Access Society (VAS) was founded on 30 October 1997, during the 3rd International Congress on Access for Dialysis in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The objectives of the society are to raise interest in the field of hemodialysis vascular access, to promote and conduct basic and clinical research and to organize congresses, meetings and courses.
The VAS is a multidisciplinary society which is of interest to nephrologists, surgeons, interventional radiologists, dialysis, nurses, vascular and radiological technologists. The VAS organizes an International Congress every two years in one of the countries in Europe. Every year a Vascular Access Course will be held in a European City. The multidisciplinary council of the VAS consists of nephrologists, surgeons and radiologists and representatives from each European country will be asked to join the board.

Visit http://www.radpad.com to request a free No Brainer® Surgical Cap to protect your brain from X-Ray Scatter Radiation!

Worldwide Innovations & Technologies, Inc. (WIT)
14740 W 101st Terrace
Lenexa, KS 66215
Phone: 913-648-3730 or  1-877-7RADPAD (1-877-772-3723)
Fax: 913-648-0131

Click this email link to contact us:
Email: info@radpad.com

Amethyst Place and Worldwide Innovations & Technologies, Inc., Maker of Radpad® Scatter Radiation Protection

Posted on February 14, 2015 by in Our Blog with Comments Off on Amethyst Place and Worldwide Innovations & Technologies, Inc., Maker of Radpad® Scatter Radiation Protection

The Mission of Amethyst Place is to support women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, and their children by providing safe, drug-free housing and individualized services to promote healthy families. They help families overcome significant trauma and develop essential life skills. The Vision of Amethyst Place is that families will successfully transition to drug-free, independent housing and healthy community living.

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