Cath Lab Changes to Cut Radiation Exposure

Radiation dose received by patients during invasive cardiology procedures has the potential to cause skin damage and is assumed to include a small cancer risk. To help ensure patient safety, it is desirable to minimize patient radiation dose to patients undergoing these procedures. An inherent benefit of reduced patient dose is reduced dose to physician operators and staff. Previous studies have tested patient radiation dose-reduction initiatives for radiofrequency ablation and invasive coronary artery procedures. Few studies, however, have explored the effects of using sustained patient radiation dose-reduction initiatives in larger, diverse invasive cardiovascular settings. A Progressive Movement on Patient Radiation In an issue of JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions, Kenneth A. Fetterly, PhD, and colleagues had a single-center study published that investigated the effects of sustained practice and x-ray system technical changes on radiation doses administered to adult patients during invasive cardiovascular procedures. Data were categorized to include all procedures, PCIs, coronary angiographies, noncardiac vascular angiographies and interventions, and procedures to treat structural heart disease. Under the guidance of a cardiovascular invasive labs radiation safety committee convened by the Mayo Clinic, several clinical progressive changes were implemented from 2008 to 2010 to elevate radiation awareness and reduce patient radiation dose. The changes included: [polldaddy poll=6965513] Establishing a multidisciplinary catheterization laboratory radiation safety committee. Announcing radiation doses during procedures at 3,000 mGy intervals to increase awareness and minimize high-dose procedures. Documenting the radiation dose in final reports upon conclusion of procedures. Mandating that fellows be trained on x-ray imaging and radiation safety. Standardizing x-ray protocols. Increasing spectral filtration for acquisition imaging. Setting the default fluoroscopy program to a low dose rate. Reducing...