CME: Interventional Cardiology & Occupational Hazards

CME: Interventional Cardiology & Occupational Hazards

Interventional cardiologists endure unique physical demands that can predispose them to occupational health hazards that are not always seen in other medical disciplines. Studies have shown that interventional cardiologists and staff are often exposed to radiation, which can lead to the development of cancers and cataracts. In addition, orthopedic injuries involving the spine, hips, knees, and ankles can occur for a myriad of reasons, including the weight of personal protective lead aprons that are worn to reduce radiation risks. About a decade ago, a survey of interventional cardiologists showed that orthopedic illnesses were relatively common, with a strong correlation being demonstrated between the frequency of orthopedic problems and years of practice. Spine complaints and other orthopedic issues have also been linked to annual procedural volume. Cases of cancers and cataracts were also seen among interventional cardiologists and staff. “Since that survey was completed, the duration and complexity of interventional procedures have markedly increased,” says Lloyd W. Klein, MD, FSCAI. “With rates of PCI and other interventional cardiology procedures on the rise, it’s important to reassess operator risks and consider steps toward improving the work environment.” For a study published in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, Dr. Klein and colleagues surveyed active practicing members of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) to characterize the prevalence of occupational health problems among interventional cardiologists. The survey recorded data about members’ age, years of practice, and diagnostic and interventional cases per year. Questions focused on orthopedic and radiation-associated problems.   A Persisting Problem Of the 314 SCAI members who responded to the survey, most tended to be busy and experienced, according to...
Interventional Cardiology & Occupational Hazards

Interventional Cardiology & Occupational Hazards

Interventional cardiologists endure unique physical demands that can predispose them to occupational health hazards that are not always seen in other medical disciplines. Studies have shown that interventional cardiologists and staff are often exposed to radiation, which can lead to the development of cancers and cataracts. In addition, orthopedic injuries involving the spine, hips, knees, and ankles can occur for a myriad of reasons, including the weight of personal protective lead aprons that are worn to reduce radiation risks. About a decade ago, a survey of interventional cardiologists showed that orthopedic illnesses were relatively common, with a strong correlation being demonstrated between the frequency of orthopedic problems and years of practice. Spine complaints and other orthopedic issues have also been linked to annual procedural volume. Cases of cancers and cataracts were also seen among interventional cardiologists and staff. “Since that survey was completed, the duration and complexity of interventional procedures have markedly increased,” says Lloyd W. Klein, MD, FSCAI. “With rates of PCI and other interventional cardiology procedures on the rise, it’s important to reassess operator risks and consider steps toward improving the work environment.” For a study published in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, Dr. Klein and colleagues surveyed active practicing members of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) to characterize the prevalence of occupational health problems among interventional cardiologists. The survey recorded data about members’ age, years of practice, and diagnostic and interventional cases per year. Questions focused on orthopedic and radiation-associated problems.   A Persisting Problem Of the 314 SCAI members who responded to the survey, most tended to be busy and experienced, according to...