RaySafe: worldwide lack of awareness about unnecessary radiation
According to RaySafe, medical staff in hospitals and clinics around the world is not yet sensitized enough to the risks of unnecessary radiation. The company is a leading supplier of radiation measurement solutions and will present its innovation “RaySafe i2” in Japan during the ITEM exhibition in Yokohama, April 12-14. RaySafe i2 is an active dosimeter especially for interventional radiology that gives real time insight into radiation exposure. With the help of the dosimetry system, medical staff can immediately adjust their behavioral routines and avoid unnecessary radiation exposure in their workplaces. “In the U.S., recent information campaigns have had a large impact raising awareness and motivation to optimize dose among patients. There remains a need for more training and education to give doctors and nurses the knowledge and confidence to work safely in a radiation environment”, explains Bart Leclou, Vice President Business Area “Personal Dosimetry” at RaySafe. RaySafe i2 has been available in several European countries and in North America since the beginning of 2012.
“RaySafe i2 has already attracted a lot of interest in Europe and the US”, says Bart Leclou. “Real time measurement and analysis are the most important arguments for medical staff.” The personal dosimeters are easy to handle, they are maintenance free and can simply be attached to the work clothes. The collected data is sent wireless to the “real time display” that is placed in the examination room, so that all staff members can see their current exposure. Colored bar charts give an overview of individual dose, making it easy to allocate data to single users. The integrated software not only analyses but also gives access to time stamped dose data. As a result, hospital staff can change their behavior immediately in order to minimize their radiation exposure. All data is also available to hospital management for further analysis.
Studies presented during the RSNA and ECR last year have shown that staff dose can be reduced significantly by using such measuring systems. They are already an integral part at renowned hospitals like the Charité in Berlin and Erlangen University Hospital in Germany. Introducing the RaySafe i2 across the Asian markets is part of further raising the awareness of unnecessary radiation exposure.
According to Bart Leclou, the overall awareness of unnecessary radiation is significantly higher in Europe and North America than in the rest of the world. This is due to recent campaigns like the initiative ‘Image Gently/Image Wisely’ in the USA by the American College of Radiology and Radiological Society of North America drawing attention to the matter of patient dose. “Due to the growing knowledge among patients, the necessity of certain x-ray examinations is questioned more frequently.” But hospital staff still has to pay more attention to keeping their personal dose within the limits, says the RaySafe manager. “The lead apron only covers some parts of the body while others – no less important – are still exposed to the harmful rays.”
The RaySafe i2 basic package comes with a real time display, four personal dosimeters and a dose viewer software.