There has been a time when technologies were not so developed, and some casualties happen unknowingly, with the inappropriate knowledge of using UV radiation. However, it is easy to be complacent about the dangerous effects of radiation since it is invisible. Therefore, World Health Organization has classified radiation as a 'carcinogen'. This defines that if the radiation exposure is high, it can lead to health problems like cataracts, hair loss, and birth issues, ultimately leading to cancer development. Hence, it is necessary to follow the best practices for radiation safety which is beneficial for healthcare workers and the patients.
The reason behind the Safety of UV Radiation
One of the significant prevailing reasons for radiation safety could be the lack of training provided to the healthcare workers who work in this field. Interventional radiologists are trained with the safe use of radiation, but vascular surgeons and interventional cardiologists are provided with minimal training. Moreover, the problem, in this case, is, key team member of a radiologist is a radiologic technologist. In contrast, the team members of vascular surgeons and interventional cardiologists could be nurses, who are likely to receive minimal training for radiation safety.
Furthermore, the US is one country that focuses on the good quality of images, which ultimately asks for high radiation; this is a sign of redundant use of rays. Although, this is not the case with countries like Europe and Japan, and they give high priority to safety. So, it is not vital to use a high dose of radiation to create a quality image, as a good creator can do with a minimum dose.
Improvement in Radiation Safety
This can’t be said that there is a lack of safety measures present in science, but the matter is to look upon them and adapt the same. The first step towards is the excellent training of people who work around radiation like equipment operators, physicians, anesthesiologists, technologists, nurses, and many more. Another important point is to foster communication among the healthcare team where they can communicate and understand radiation safety in the jobs.
The number of doses is also significant when it comes to radiation safety. If the radiation scatters from patients where it has to be used, it will directly harm the workers, which could cause problems. This practice includes the reduction of fluoroscopy time, along with a count of fluoroscopic images.
Shielding is also an important factor that needs to be kept in mind for safety. The four types of shielding are-
1.Use of personal aprons with leaded glasses.
2.Equipment mounted protective drapes.
3.Stationary and rolling shield.
4.Disposable drapes for patients, which can be used to control radiation to scatter.
Even after, one area which is mostly overlooked is the positioning of the tube used for an x-ray. It goes through the patient to the detector. The ideal way of taking an x-ray is by keeping the machine as close to the patient as possible to prevent scattering. If it's not practiced in the right way, it can affect the patients too.
Therefore, the frontline workers of radiation need to know the safety measures to protect themselves and their patients.