Saturday, August 9, 2014

Family Medicine: Radiation Safety for Patients and Doctors

OK, Family Docs, who is keeping track of radiation exposure in our patients?  (Notice how Radiofrequency ablation adds another pile of radiation onto our patients.)  Could it be...NOBODY?!
How many of your patients have actually signed a consent form for the radiation used in their images?  Could it be...NONE?!
As a Three Mile Island "Alumnus", I remain sensitive about excessive radiation. (Like millions and millions of CT scans, MOST of which seem to be questionable if clinical skills are applied to the patient situation.) How might we get a more organized radiation safety strategy?  What have you experienced in your systems about radiation safety for patients and physicians?  Who has an informed consent form for radiation exposure?   (Especially in Emergency Departments)?

1. Kovoor P, Ricciardello M, Collins L, Uther JB, Ross DL. Risk to patients from radiation associated with radiofrequency ablation for supraventricular tachycardia. Circulation. 1998;98:1534–40. [PubMed]
2. Calkins H, el-Atassi R, Kalbfleisch SJ, Langberg JJ, Morady F. Effect of operator experience on outcome of radiofrequency catheter ablation of accessory pathways. Am J Cardiol. 1993;71:1104–5. [PubMed]
3. Wittkampf FH, Wever EF, Vos K, et al. Reduction of radiation exposure in the cardiac electrophysiology laboratory. PACE. 2000;23:1638–44. [PubMed]

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