Use of a Sterile, Disposable, Radiation-Absorbing Shield Reduces Occupational Exposure to Scatter Radiation During Pectoral Device Implantation

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The aim of this study was to demonstrate the effectiveness of a radiation-absorbing shield in reducing physicians' occupational radiation exposure during pectoral device implantation. A sterile, disposable, lead-free radiation-absorbing surgical drape containing x-ray attenuation material was evaluated. Twenty procedures used the radiation absorbing drape, and 20 were performed without the shielding. Radiation exposure was measured using thermoluminescent dosimetry collar badges. Use of the protective shield was associated with a time adjusted 80% reduction in radiation dose (0.009 mrem/s with shielding vs 0.047 mrem/s without shielding, P < 0.05) to the physician performing the procedures. The radiation-absorbing surgical drape did not interfere with technical performance nor add procedural time, and all procedures were successfully completed. This study demonstrates that a sterile, disposable, radiation-absorbing drape provides a convenient means of augmenting conventional radiation shielding. Use of this protective shielding greatly reduces operators' occupational exposure to scatter radiation during pectoral device implantation without compromising sterility or procedural technique.

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