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VOLUME 18 , ISSUE 9 ( September, 2014 ) > List of Articles


Radiation exposure among medical professionals working in the Intensive Care Unit

Jigeeshu V. Divatia, Nambiraj Konar, Ashish Jha, Deepak D. Deshpande

Keywords : Dosimetry, Intensive Care Unit, occupational exposure

Citation Information : Divatia JV, Konar N, Jha A, Deshpande DD. Radiation exposure among medical professionals working in the Intensive Care Unit. Indian J Crit Care Med 2014; 18 (9):591-595.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.140150

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-10-2007

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2014; The Author(s).


Background and Aims: With the expanding use of diagnostic and therapeutic radiological modalities in critically ill patients, doctors working in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are increasingly exposed to ionizing radiation. This risk of radiation exposure occurs not only during bedside radiologic procedures, but also when ICU physicians accompany patients to radiology suites. The aim of this study was to quantify levels of radiation exposure among medical professionals working in the ICU. Materials and Methods: The study was carried out prospectively over 6 months in the ICU of a tertiary-referral cancer hospital. Two teams consisting of 4 ICU resident doctors each were instructed to wear thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) during their duty shifts. Standard radiation protection precautions were used throughout the study period. TLDs were also placed in selected areas of the ICU to measure the amount of scattered radiation. TLDs were analyzed at the end of every 3 months. Results: The readings recorded on TLDs placed in the ICU were almost immeasurable. The mean value of residents′ radiation exposure was 0.059 mSv, though the highest individual reading approached 0.1 mSv. The projected maximum yearly radiation exposure was 0.4 mSv. Conclusions: If standard radiation safety precautions are followed, the cumulative radiation exposure to ICU resident doctors is well within permissible limits and is not a cause of concern. However, with the increasing use of radiological procedures in the management of critically ill patients, there is a need to repeat such audits periodically to monitor radiation exposure.

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