Fluoroscopy is an important invention that has helped doctors intervene in countless medical cases since the year it was invented. However, the inherent dangers make it a necessity for doctors, patients, and everyone working with fluoroscopy machines to seek protection.
Risks of fluoroscopy
Fluoroscopy is a medical procedure that makes use of potentially harmful radiation to examine a patient. Some of the risks involved are:
- Hair loss
- A decrease in red blood cell production
- Malignancies (tumors) etc.
All these may be mild or severe, depending on the amount of radiation absorbed over time.
There are two significant ways to prevent or at least minimize the dangers posed by fluoroscopy radiation:
- Minimize Exposure: The principle here is to keep radiation exposure to ‘as low as reasonably achievable’ (ALARA). Doctors and other healthcare workers can work with this principle to keep the X-ray dose delivered to the lower limit of <50 mGy/min and a higher limit of >100 mGy/min. In this way, radiation exposure is minimized, and safe doses can be absorbed.
- Using Lead Apron: Using a lead apron is the second solution to the problem of having to do necessary work with fluoroscopy. Exposure to fluoroscopy radiation is best avoided by wearing a lead apron. This apron is lined with lead inside and covers the front of the wearer entirely. Although it is the safest option, it, however, has an issue –weight. Lead aprons are heavy and can severely limit the doctor’s mobility and dexterity. Long term use of such lead aprons has been linked to musculoskeletal disorders such as neck, spine, and hip issues. This is why a better fluoroscopy protection apron is necessary.
Modern Radiation Apron
The modern radiation protection is designed to offer maximum lead-free protection ergonomically. That is, medical teams can safely handle fluoroscopy machines flexibly without compromising safety for dexterity.
The apron is designed this way:
- The visor and neck collar: The visor is mounted on the collar, and they provide protection through a lightweight material. The visor has a thickness of 0.30 mm, while the collar is 0.5 mm thick. Each possesses about 92 % and 97 % protection, respectively.
- Main body cover: The main body protection has a thickness of 0.5 mm at the front, sides, and back. Also, there is a thickness of 1 mm in overlapping areas. This apron covers the entire region from shoulder to halfway between the knees and feet, and around the shoulder, extending to the upper arm.
- Exoskeleton: The exciting thing about modern apron is that it is entirely lead-free. An exoskeletal frame runs from the shoulders down to the floor, which channels the absorbed radiation directly to the floor. This innovation allows the wearer to be very mobile and perform different functions with the barest inhibition.
Where safety and freedom of movement are really important, this modern fluoroscopy protection apron is the best. Medial teams can safely go about their duties and avoid long term risks associated with using the much heavier lead aprons.