Since the early 2010s, several studies have reported an elevated incidence of eye lens opacities typically associated with ionising radiations among hospital interventional staff. Recent publications have reported other potential hazards: a possible association with brain tumours or subclinical carotid atherosclerosis and, more generally, health problems.
Many devices exist to protect the staff from radiation exposure. The lead apron, often combined with a lead collar, remains the standard individual equipment. Table lead curtains and ceiling-suspended screen have become conventional room equipment, at least in interventional cardiology. Other radioprotective devices exist such as drapes positioned on the patient, caps or various types of cabins. However, estimating the actual efficiency of those devices remains challenging because it can be strongly affected by their design and the exposure conditions.
Among other activities, the MEDIRAD project (Implications of medical low dose radiation exposure) aims to bridge gaps in the knowledge of staff radiation protection. The efficiency of novel equipment to protect the staff, and particularly the eye lens and the brain, was investigated. Caps, lead-free aprons, drapes covering the patient, masks and a novel ceiling-suspended system were thoroughly investigated by means of Monte Carlo simulations validated through clinical measurements on the staff and phantoms.
|Publisher||EC - European Commission|