Interventional Radiology - What can I do as a Radiologist?
- Click here for a downloadable Procedure Checklist to use prior to every pediatric IR procedure.
- Click here for a comprehensive document Steps for Radiation Safety.
- Click here for access to the Slide Presentation, made available by the Society for Pediatric Radiology. You may use this presentation to educate your colleagues locally and you may develop a shorter presentation by selecting from the slides. We do ask that you not alter the slides and that you attribute the SPR in any presentation.
“Child- size” the radiation delivered to your patients. Pediatric and interventional radiologists play a key role as healthcare providers for children. Interventional radiology is a critical medical service which saves lives and improves patient outcomes. By logging onto this website, you have already shown your commitment to improve radiation protection for kids. It is the responsibility of radiology providers and all members of the healthcare team to ensure that every interventional radiology procedure in pediatric patients is thoughtful, indicated and appropriately performed for each and every child. As a practitioner in a busy practice with many adult patients, it may be difficult to “kid-size” the protocols used every day. This website provides a simple review of “child-size” IR practices which can be used now to improve radiation protection for children.
Soon medical imaging (with IR as the third largest contributor, after CT and nuclear medicine) will approach or potentially exceed background radiation as the single largest source of radiation for humans (NCRP, March 2009). Children are more sensitive to radiation and have a lifetime to manifest those changes. Studies from the atomic bomb indicate that radiation at low levels can cause random injury at the DNA level and genetic changes that impact children’s future health.
Here are 5 simple steps to improve patient care in your everyday practice:
- Increase awareness within your medical team and within the institution for the need to decrease radiation dose to children during IR procedures. Procedure recommendations are offered under What can I do? or directly here.
- Be committed to make a change in your daily practice by working with your technologists, physicist, referring doctors and parents to decrease the radiation dose! Sign the pledge! Click on the link on the home page to join the image gently campaign today.
- Contact your physicist and manufacturer to review your adult angiography and CT protocols and to “down-size” the protocols for kids. More is not better….adult techniques are not necessary for small bodies.
- During the procedure, “step lightly” on the fluoroscopy pedal, using the least amount of radiation needed to safely and effectively perform the procedure. Remember to take other common sense steps to reduce dose, such as planning runs in advance, using pulse fluoroscopy, using US or MRI for guidance when possible, and minimizing use of magnification.
- Remember that reducing patient dose reduces dose to personnel in the room: as you work to reduce dose to children, you will also help your healthcare team.