Multiple Studies Find Radiation-Induced Health Conditions Higher in Interventional Lab Personnel
Studies Conclude a Rising Need to Spread the Culture of Safety to These Workers
Studies continue to reveal that health conditions are more common in interventional lab personnel than in unexposed staff.
Interventionalists and their staff are exposed to high amounts of radiation every day due to the long, complicated procedures performed and their proximity to the radiation source. Exposure has increased six-fold in the last 30 years, and nearly 40% of the increased exposure is related to cardiovascular imaging and intervention.
- Occupational Health Risks in Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Workers: “Health problems are more frequently observed in workers performing fluoroscopically guided cardiovascular procedures than in unexposed controls. The primary risks mostly related to work activity and radiation exposure included orthopedic illnesses, cataracts, skin lesions and cancers, particularly in workers with longer duration of occupational work. The secondary findings showed an increased prevalence of anxiety/depression, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, supporting the recent evidence of other radiogenic noncancer effects.”
- Radiation-Induced DNA Damage in Operators Performing Endovascular Aortic Repair: This study revealed that patients and doctors suffer DNA damage to their immune system during every EVAR. They found double-stranded breaks which are more difficult to repair than other forms of DNA damage. This type of damage is the most dangerous and can result in cellular death and mutation. 
- Neuropsychological Testing in Interventional Cardiology Staff after Long-Term Exposure to Ionizing Radiation: This study compared interventional cardiology doctors and nurses to other medical disciplines and found interventional staff have a more significant reduction in abilties generally attributed to the left brain hemisphere. 
- Healthcare Workers Occupationally Exposed to Ionizing Radiation Exhibit Altered Levels of Inflammatory Cytokines and Redox Parameters: “In our study, although the annual exposure doses were within limits recommended by ICRP, we found a dose-dependent relationship with significant immune changes.” 
Many of these studies were conducted in countries where radiation dose guidelines are much more strict, i.e. doses are below federal and international dose guidelines. Even with exposure to lower radiation doses, interventional staff were five times more likely to develop orthopaedic illnesses, three times more likely to develop skin lesions and two times more likely to develop cancer than unexposed staff.
Although the exposure may not be felt for years to come, radiation-induced disease can have a biological latency of more than 10 years.
Medical imaging professionals can have long, safe careers when they monitor their exposure and employ the three principles of radiation protection: time, distance and shielding.
The RADPAD® is the only clinically-proven, non-lead and non-vinyl, lightweight and disposable shield that can guarantee a 95% reduction in x-ray scatter radiation. The RADPAD® shield works by creating a “shade zone” on the patient where radiation is absorbed into the shield. This allows the clinician to move freely within this zone with significantly reduced scatter radiation, all while protecting the patient.
RADPAD® 5000 series products are comprised of several procedure-specific radiation protection shields designed to provide maximum protection to the operator and cath lab personnel during fluoro-guided procedures.
RADPAD® 7000 series are comprised of several procedures specific sterile drape + RADPAD® Radiation Protection Shields, designed to protect operators and cath lab personnel during fluoro-guided procedures.
RADPAD® No Brainer® is an attenuation material-lined scrub cap worn by the cath lab personnel to protect their brain from scatter radiation during fluoro-guided procedures.
RADPAD® Thyroid Shield w/ Cover is a RADPAD® thyroid shield worn by the cath lab personnel to protect thyroid glands during fluoro-guided procedures.
 National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements. Ionizing Radiation Exposure of the Population of the United States. Bethesda, MD National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, (2009) 160.
 Marazziti, Donatella, et al. Neuropsychological Testing in Interventional Cardiology Staff after Long-Term Exposure to Ionizing Radiation. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society: JINS. 21. 1-7. 10.1017/S135561771500082X. (2015)