Use of radiation protection among Canadian urologists

Author(s): Homan Miraliakbari, Michael W.Crichlow

Endourology procedures are common in urologic practice and urologic surgeons are subject to radiation exposure during these procedures via radiation scatter. Proper training on the use of fluoroscopy and radiation shields is of critical importance in lowering the health risks associated with cumulative radiation exposure. Participants were practicing urologists in Canada (n=446) who were contacted by e-mail to complete an anonymous survey regarding radiation protection use during fluoroscopic procedures. An on-line survey system, Zoomerang, was used to distribute and collect the results of the 15-question survey. The response rate was 20.2%. Of the 90 respondents, 74%had practiced urology for 10 years ormore and 19%were fellowship trained.Although only 46%of respondents expressed concern about the potential health risks associated with radiation exposure, 81%and 100%of respondents regularly used radiation shielding thyroid collars and aprons during fluoroscopic procedures, respectively. Eightythree percent of respondents reported never using radiation shielding eye protection, while 9% of respondents always practiced their use. However, 91% of respondents were interested in learning more about the potential harmful effects of radiation exposure to the eye. In conclusion, the majority of Canadian urologists employ radiation safety techniques during fluoroscopic procedures and wish to learnmore about the potential health risks associated with its use. Greater training on the risks associated with radiation exposure during fluoroscopy and emphasis on safety training should be implemented by hospital occupational health and safety committees.

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