Exposure Of Radiation Exposure On Medical Practitioners

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Exposure to ionizing radiation is of concern to many medical practitioners. The risks of radiation exposure are well documented within the scientific literature and include cataract formation, skin cancer, thyroid disease and leukaemia.1 Medical staff who work in the operating theatre are a sizable population potentially at risk for these complications.2 With advances in medical technology in past decades and an ongoing trend towards minimally invasive techniques, there has been a significant increase in the use of fluoroscopy.3-5 During fluoroscopic procedures staff are exposed to both direct and scattered radiation. Procedures that require long fluoroscopic screening times, such as interventional radiology, cardiology and orthopaedic surgery, place the proceduralist at high risk of radiation exposure. Orthopaedic surgeons must often remain close to the x-ray beam during procedures and cannot use distance to reduce radiation exposure.
In recent years, there is a rising alertness concerning the harmful effects of exposure of long-term low-dose irradiation. In 2005 a report by Mastrangelo et al identified orthopaedic surgeons as having an increased cancer risk.6 In 2010 Chou et al reported that the prevalence of cancer within female orthopaedic surgeons was 1.9 fold greater than that of women in the general US population.7,8 Specific orthopaedic procedures such as closed intramedullary nailing of the femur are responsible for a high level of scattered radiation
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