OBJECTIVE: To assess the availability, practices and knowledge of radiation safety measures among invasive cardiologists in a tertiary care hospital.
METHOD: A cross sectional survey of invasive cardiologists working in academic institutions was conducted using a questionnaire.
RESULTS: A total of 28 cardiologists completed the questionnaire with a mean working experience of 10.5 + 7.6 years. All were of the opinion that radiation safety is extremely important and 93% always used lead aprons. Less than half of them used other radiation protective measures including thyroid collar, lead eyeglasses and lead shields. Only 7% regularly utilized a radiation dose badge to monitor the exposure. This may be related to the availability, as lead aprons are readily available but other devices i.e. lead glasses, lead shield and radiation dose badge is available to less than a third of them. On evaluating knowledge only one fourth knew more than 60% of the answers to questions testing the basic principles of radiation safety. When working experience of cardiologists was correlated with their knowledge and practice of radiation safety surprisingly a paradoxical relationship was noted. Mean number of correct answers in those with experience of > 10 years vs < 10 years was 45% vs 56%, p < 0.03. All of the above findings are probably because less than 50% have received any formal education in this important field.
CONCLUSIONS: There is a lack of standard radiation safety measures and equipments in cardiac catheterization laboratories. Significant lapses exist in practice and lack of knowledge of radiation safety among invasive cardiologists in this part of the world. With rapid growth in the number of cardiac catheterization laboratories in developing countries significant improvement in knowledge, practice and availability of radiation safety measures is needed.
Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association
(2008). Knowledge and practice of radiation safety among invasive cardiologists. Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, 58(3), 119-22.
Available at: http://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_med_cardiol/20