Date of this Version
Background: Anesthesia providers are increasingly practicing under radiography and fluoroscopically guided procedures in surgical suites without the conventional tools present in standard operating rooms. During these cases, physicians, nurses, and anesthesia providers are inadvertently exposed to radiation. Radiation has inherent risks; studies have demonstrated exposure to low levels of medical radiation can increase the risk of several types of cancer, bone marrow suppression, infertility, birth deformities, and cataracts. Unlike the standard procedure for surgeons and interventionalists, who routinely use leaded glasses or ceiling-mounted lead shields to protect the eyes, there are currently no similar protections for anesthesia providers, who may be unintentionally leaving themselves exposed and at higher risk for radiation-induced cataracts.
Objectives: The purpose of this quality improvement (QI) project is to improve anesthesia knowledge of radiation hazards within the workplace and steps to mitigate risk. The QI project aims to educate anesthetists about radiation-induced cataracts and protective measures.
Methods: The primary methodology of the proposed quality improvement project is to administer an educational intervention to anesthesia providers which discusses occupational radiation exposure and cataract development. Pre-assessment and post-assessment surveys will be used to measure the effectiveness of the educational intervention.
Results: Overall, there was an improvement in anesthesia provider knowledge following the educational intervention. Participants also answered they would “most likely” consider using additional PPE and leaded glasses to limit occupational exposure compared to “somewhat likely” before the educational intervention.
Filbert, Elizabeth A. and Valdes, Jorge, "An Educational Intervention on Occupational Radiation Exposure and Risk of Cataract Development" (2022). Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing Student Projects. 100.