OJRad  Vol.3 No.3 , September 2013
Evaluation of a Suspended Personal Radiation Protection System vs. Conventional Apron and Shields in Clinical Interventional Procedures

Purpose: This clinical study compares conventional lead aprons and ancillary shields to a functionally weightless personal overhead-supported system with expanded coverage. Materials and Methods: Primary operators performed procedures (N = 126, fluoroscopy minutes = 1209) using one of 2 methods of radiation protection and wearing dosimeters on multiple body locations. Method LAS (Lead-Apron+Shields): lead skirt, vest, thyroid shield, with 100% use of under-table shield, side shield, and mobile suspended lead-acrylic shield. Method Zgrav: ZeroGravity system (CFI Medical Solutions) with variable use of shielding. The studied early model moving with the operator had a curved lead-acrylic head shield (0.5 mm Pb) and expansive lead apron (0.5 - 1.0 mm Pb) that covered leg to distal calf and proximal arm to elbow, and a drape that permitted sterile entry and exit. Study was institutional review board approved and HIPPA-compliant. Results: Measured with a sensitive electronic dosimeter, eye exposures were 99% (P < 0.001) reduced for Zgrav with upgraded face shield vs. LAS, regardless of use or non-use of suspended shield with Zgrav. With optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dosimeters, operator exposures, standardized to minutes of fluoroscopy and Fluoroscopic Patient Dose Area Product, were reduced by 87% - 100% for eye & head, neck, humerus, and tibia (Zgrav vs. LAS). Overall eye & head exposure reduction for entire study was 94%. Non-equivalence of torso exposures was not demonstrated. A brief user survey showed ergonomic advantages of Zgrav. Conclusion: Compared to conventional lead aprons with shields, the suspended system provided superior operator protection during interventional fluoroscopy, allowing operators to perform procedures without potentially obstructive shields.

Cite this paper
C. Savage, T. Seale IV, C. Shaw, B. Angela, D. Marichal and C. Rees, "Evaluation of a Suspended Personal Radiation Protection System vs. Conventional Apron and Shields in Clinical Interventional Procedures," Open Journal of Radiology, Vol. 3 No. 3, 2013, pp. 143-151. doi: 10.4236/ojrad.2013.33024.
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