When I started working in the radiation safety business more than 20 years ago, there were far fewer medical procedures that involved radiation than there are today. In 2015, a Consumer Reports investigation found that the number of computerized tomography (CT) scans administered to adults increased from 3 million per year in 1980 to more than 80 million in 2015. Not only are adults (and children) undergoing more CT scans, but they are also being exposed to ionizing radiation in procedures such as cardiac catheterizations.
Of course, the biggest impact is being felt by physicians and employees who regularly work with and around radiation — some cardiologists work in a catheterization lab for as long as 10 hours a day. There is another health care worker whose job has significantly changed due to the increased use of radiation — the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO). Until recently, RSOs relied on Optical Stimulated Luminescence Dosimeters (OSL) and Thermoluminescent Dosimeters (TLD) to measure radiation exposure (and some still use film). Those devices need to be collected every few months and redistributed, a task that has become more and more challenging with the increased use of ionizing radiation in medical procedures. In contrast, the Instadose®+ dosimeter is wirelessly enabled, which means there is no need to collect and distribute these devices.
One of the significant differences between now and 20 years ago is that RSOs have an option for making radiation monitoring easier — the Instadose+ dosimeter. This personal dosimeter is the new generation of radiation safety monitoring dosimeters and it’s giving health care professionals more control and accountability when it comes to their radiation dose. I have heard from many RSOs about the difficult challenges they encounter in their organization when they must track down, collect and send traditional dosimeters out to be processed. In addition to their heavy workload, they must also redistribute the new badges and pursue any high dose investigations discovered when the old badges were read—imagine having to investigate a dose that occurred 1-3 months ago! Fast forward to today…the Instadose+ dosimeter doesn’t have to be collected, processed offsite or redistributed—and dose information can be accessed immediately online! This puts a whole new “proactive” spin on the management and administration of their dosimetry program. Now, RSOs using our Instadose+ dosimeters are telling me how much more effective, efficient, compliant, and proactive their radiation monitoring programs have become.
There are more situations for radiation exposure than there were 20 years ago, conversely, today there are also smarter options to monitor radiation exposure and safeguard your health to make sure dose levels do not exceed recommended amounts.
Victoria Potuck, Regional Sales Manager at Mirion Technologies
Over the past couple of decades, the number of procedures requiring radiation have dramatically increased.
RSOs are challenged with keeping track of the radiation exposure of everyone in their organization.
The Instadose+ dosimeter makes the process of radiation monitoring much easier and cost effective.