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Invisible Impact: The Risk of Ionizing Radiation on Cath Lab Staff

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Published on May 5, 2015

This video tells the story of one of the world’s most prominent cardiovascular surgeons, Dr. Edward Diethrich, and the career-altering health issues he has faced as a result of chronic, low-level exposure to ionizing radiation through his work.

Catheter-based technology has enabled the minimally invasive treatment of conditions that previously required invasive surgery. However, as the number of interventional procedures performed each day continues to rise, an unforeseen trade-off relates to the health of the medical professionals who perform these procedures and are exposed to procedure-related ionizing radiation. Existing scientific evidence points to an alarming incidence of cancer, cataracts and other serious adverse health effects among these professionals, including interventional cardiologists, endovascular surgeons, interventional radiologists and neurointerventionalists, as well as fluoroscopy lab employees.

The Organization for Occupational Radiation Safety in Interventional Fluoroscopy (ORSIF) was formed to raise awareness of the health risks of occupational ionizing radiation exposures and associated musculoskeletal risks occurring in interventional fluoroscopy laboratories. ORSIF develops support for medical professionals and hospitals for new and better ways to create the safest possible work environment for those dedicated to the wellness of others. The organization is comprised of members from industry and also includes physicians and staff from interventional fluoroscopy labs, and will partner with other physician associations, academic institutions, labor groups, and government bodies.

To learn more, go to http://www.orsif.org/.

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