Fluoroscopy refers to a form of medical radiation focused on a person to see moving body parts. This form of radiation is a heavy one.
Hopefully, for patients, this process would only happen once to a few times, but that is not the case for doctors and physicians who administer the fluoroscopy scan.
Various personal protective equipment solutions from different manufacturers can shield doctors from this toxic level of radiation. And while many products claim to be a perfect solution, that is not true.
There isn’t just an ideal protective solution that would protect a physician fully. However, the best design of fluoroscopy protection would protect the most critical parts of the body from radiation, making it easier and effective to work faster and avoid prolonged exposure.
So, what is an ideal fluoroscopy protection solution supposed to be like?
The ultimate protection solution would offer comfort and mobility while also protecting from the ionic x-ray radiation. Stemrad happens to be a company that has been working on a design for long and has, for now, come up with a solution that has the following features.
This part of the protective gear serves as a protection for the head or face. It is about 0.3mm proofed gear and allows a user to stay safer during fluoroscopy.
The visor does not intrude the face, allowing those with medicated glasses to use their glasses, as against lead shades. The visor shields a person’s face from scatter, low-angle radiation yet does not interfere in the monitor’s sight.
It’s designed also covers a broader area of the face more than lead glasses that merely cover the eyes.
Integrated Thyroid Collar
With the thyroid being an easily susceptible body part to radiation, Stemrad’s solution has a collar that covers up the throat area beneath a 0.5mm lead eq. on either side and 1.0mm lead eq. in the front.
Although with a sleeker design than the traditional apron we have seen and known, the protective function of this gear still makes it worthy of being called an apron.
It offers a more efficient attenuation than most aprons, as it serves as a full armor for front and sides. Stemrad’s solution is lead-free and has been tested and certified around the full energy range of 50-150kV.
Moreover, the upper arm sleeves hinder rebound radiation splash from getting into the chest area.
Ingenious exoskeleton design
Support and protective system from the bones of the leg exist to protect the body. But the exoskeletal design was so done to remove the burden of having to move around with a heavy protective gear; hence, the manufacturers claim that it lessens the gear’s weight by 100%.
The exoskeletal design enables seamless turning, bending, and turning with modified joints at the hip and knee.
Many protection gears are usually weighty and can put strains on the shoulder, hip, and other joints. However, with the proprietary exoskeletal support design of Stemrad, this is not a concern.
One of the best medical advice that can be given to staff when it comes to dose management in fluoroscopy is to “know your equipment.” Ceiling suspended screens should be used to ensure a safe distance from the scatters, alongside the PPE.
Apart from this, tools, including radiation monitors or badges should be used, to make sure you are not underestimating your stay in the danger zone.
A good manufacturer would also recommend essential quality checks. and it is best to follow them to the letter for the utmost shield. A shield would function 100% only if usage instructions are followed.