The Hidden Risk of Ionizing Radiation in the Operating Room: A Survey Among 258 Orthopaedic Surgeons in Brazil

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The Hidden Risk of Ionizing Radiation in the Operating Room: A Survey Among 258 Orthopaedic Surgeons in Brazil


JournalPatient Safety in Surgery
Publication date – Apr – 2020
Authors – Robinson Esteves Pires, Igor Guedes Nogueira Reis, Ângelo Ribeiro Vaz de Faria, Vincenzo Giordano, Pedro José Labronici, William Dias Belangero
KeywordsIonizing radiation, Occupational exposure, Orthopaedic surgeon, Orthopedics, Radiation, Radiation exposure, Radiation protection, Scatter radiation.
Open access – Yes
SpecialityTrauma and orthopaedic surgery
World region South America
Country: Brazil
Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on May 20, 2020 at 7:03 am
Abstract:

Background: This study aims to assess orthopaedic surgeon knowledge in Brazil about ionizing radiation and its health implications on surgical teams and patients.
Methods: A 15-question survey on theoretical and practical concepts of ionizing radiation was administered during the 23rd Brazilian Orthopaedic Trauma Association annual meeting. The survey addressed issues within orthopedic surgery, such as radiation safety concepts, protection, exposure, as well as the participant gender. Participants were either orthopedic surgeons or orthopedic surgery residents working at institutions in Brazil.
Results: One thousand surveys were distributed at the moment of the meeting registration, and 258 were answered completely (25.8% response rate). Only 5.8% of participants used basic radiation protection equipment; 47.3% used a dosimeter; 2.7% reached the annual maximum permissible radiation dose; 10.5% knew the period of increased risk to fetal gestation; 5.8% knew the maximum permissible radiation dose during pregnancy; 58.5% knew that the hands, eyes, and thyroid are the most exposed areas and at greater risk of radiation-related lesions; 25.2% knew the safe distance from a radiation-emitting tube is 3 m or more; 44.2% knew the safest positioning of the radiation-emitting tube; 25.2% knew that smaller tubes emit greater radiation at the entrance dose to magnify the image; and 55.4% knew that the surgery team receives more scattered radiation in surgical procedures performed on obese patients.
Conclusion: This study revealed inadequate theoretical and practical knowledge about radiation exposure among orthopaedic surgeons in Brazil. Only a minority of orthopaedic surgeons used basic radiation protection equipment. No significant differences in knowledge were found when comparing all orthopedic surgery specialties. Our findings indicate an urgent need for education to increase knowledge among orthopaedic surgeons about the hazards of ionizing radiation. Personal protection and implementation of the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) protocol in daily practice are important behaviors to prevent the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.

OSI Number – 20381
PMID – 32336990

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