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See how radiation exposure can instantly be managed with the RaySafe i3 dosimeter. It provides immediate feedback so medical staff can see how changes in behavior and X-ray equipment use can reduce radiation exposure, instantly.
RaySafe i3 is the latest generation that RaySafe's real-time dosimetry systems. I would like to demonstrate how RaySafe i3 can help you avoid unnecessary radiation, but first, let's talk about scattered radiation. In the cath lab, only a tiny portion of the radiation that's emitted by the x-ray tube ever reaches the image sensor. Around two-thirds are absorbed in the patient's tissue while one third is scattered out into the room and it scatters in all directions, starting from the patient. And this is important because studies have indicated that medical professionals within interventional radiology are at risk of developing certain health effects, including cancer and cataracts.
There are three basic concepts or tools that everyone can use in order to minimize unnecessary radiation exposure. Time, distance, shielding. Longer exposure times mean higher dose, all else being equal. Therefore don't stay near radiation for a longer time than you have to. Concerning distance, the inverse square law applies, and that basically means that if you take a few steps back, you can reduce your dose dramatically. Ionizing radiation can be shielded by various materials. In the case of x-rays and gamma rays, you can use lead or other dense materials. And these come in various forms such as protective garments, lead glasses, and ceiling suspended shields. To help us think about all this, the acronym ALARA was created. ALARA means As Low As Reasonably Achievable. And the thought is that we as individuals and our employers should make every reasonable effort to keep radiation exposure as slow as possible with respect to the task at hand.
If you're operating the x-ray machine, you will have access to a number of machine parameters that you can tweak to reduce scattered radiation. First, remember that all modern interventional x-ray machines have automatic exposure control. That means that if the beam is attenuated, the machine will emit more radiation to compensate. So for instance, a lateral oblique projection will lead to more radiation being emitted than an AP projection because the beam has to travel a longer distance through the patient. The frame rate has a direct impact on the amount of radiation emitted and as a consequence also on the amount of scattered radiation. And finally, remember to collimate, to shield off your radiation field whenever you don't need the peripheral parts of the image. Less radiation emitted means less radiation scattered.
Now the tricky thing with x-rays is that our human sensors cannot detect them. When it comes to radiation protection in the cath lab, we're blindfolded. That's why RaySafe developed real-time dosimetry. And I would like to show you the latest version, RaySafe i3 with on-screen display. The system starts with active dosimeters just like this one. You can name it, you can pick a color you like, and it likes to sit right here. It measures x-ray dose rates every second and it stores and transmits the information via radio. A centrally located hub receives the information and produces the real-time view..dose rates as color-coded bar graphs, one for each user. The measurements are stored and can be retrieved later on for post-procedure analysis.
So let me just go get a lead apron and then I'll share you just how it works. So here's my cath lab, now armed with a weak radiation source. So I'll pick up my dosimeter. It connects automatically. Let's see what happens. So now my bar is red and I'd like to do something about that. So let's test the inverse square law and take a few steps back. The bar is going down. And then I'll try to use some shielding. So here's a thyroid collar. The bar goes down even further. That's how RaySafe i3 can give you a better sense of the radiation environment around you, which is really helpful when you're trying to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure.
To summarize, out of all this, there are three things that I would like you all to remember. First, remember to keep your radiation exposure as low as reasonably achievable. You've already got the tools you need, time, distance shielding. RaySafe i3 can help you use those tools in an optimal way by giving you a better sense of what your radiation environment looks like. Thanks for watching. Take care.