Background Thermoluminescent dosimeter badges currently utilized to monitor occupational radiation exposures are limited in their ability to provide timely feedback, restricting workers' ability to identify unnecessary exposure. New real time radiation monitoring systems provide an opportunity for workers to immediately identify and alter problematic behaviors in the neuroangiography suite, decreasing unnecessary exposures, lowering risk, and maximizing safety efforts.
Methods Real time radiation monitoring was performed for 120 diagnostic cerebral angiography procedures. Data were collected in two phases, for procedures performed by two physician participants (30 procedures per physician per phase). Workers were blinded to their real time dose in phase I, and unblinded in phase II. Individual exposures (Sv) and the incidence of red events (exposure rates ≥2.0 mSv/h) were collected for each assigned participating role (physician A, physician B, nurse, scrubbed technologist, and circulating technologist). The dose area product was collected for each procedure to standardize against variations in procedure duration or intensity.
Results In phase II, significant decreased radiation exposure was observed for all roles except physician A. Physician B decreased most from 24.3×10−8 to 6.9×10−8 Sv/Gy-cm2 (p<0.0001). Rates of red events decreased similarly for all roles except physician A, and were significant for all roles except the nurse role.
Conclusions Real time radiation dose monitoring during diagnostic cerebral angiography may help to reduce occupational radiation exposures for healthcare workers.