IR team uses active dosimetry to reduce workers’ radiation exposure

Interventional radiology (IR) staffers at 189-bed Lawrence General Hospital in Massachusetts have shown that a commercially available real-time dosimetry system works well in reducing occupational radiation exposures.

The study documenting the success is running in the August edition of Health Physics.

Medical physicist Sashi Poudel, a PhD candidate at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and colleagues conducted a statistical pilot study to retrospectively analyze changes in exposures to staff working in the IR suite at the Boston-area hospital.

The IR department had earlier implemented a real-time dosimetry system marketed by Cleveland-based Unfors RaySafe, according to the study abstract.

Over an eight-month period preceding the implementation, the research team normalized records of monthly optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dosimetry data to the number of procedures performed during each month.

They then statistically compared these data with the normalized dosimetry records obtained over an eight-month post-implementation period.

Poudel and colleagues performed hypothesis testing on three groups of staff present during IR procedures: radiologists, technologists and all members of the IR staff.

After implementing the system, they found, the IR department achieved a reduction in the average dose equivalence per procedure of 43.1 percent ± 16.7 percent (p = 0.04).

Similarly, the authors report, the IR radiologists had a 65.8 percent ± 33.6 percent (p=0.01) reduction while the technologists had a 45.0 percent ± 14.4 percent (p = 0.03) reduction.